One person is reported dead and five others suffered critical injuries following a fatal accident that occurred late in the evening yesterday, September 6, in Wikombe village, Naboa Sub-county of Budaka District along the Mbale-Tirinyi highway.
Traffic was paralysed around Wikombe village as angry locals piled rocks and lit bonfires on the road whose deplorable condition has been the subject of protest by area MPs in recent days.
Police from both Mbale and Budaka was denied access to the accident scene by the exceedingly furious Budaka residents.
The sorry accident came just two days after MPs from eastern Uganda staged a protest along the same place demanding that Uganda National Roads Authority expeditiously work on it as it has since turned into a death trap claiming lives.
The MPs were arrested at Kakori Trading Centre in Budaka District, 10 kilometres from Mbale town.
The Arrested legislators included Ms Pamela Nasiyo, (Budaka District Woman) Mr John Baptist Nambeshe, (Manjiya County) in Bududa District and Mr Silas Aogon, the Kumi Municipality MP.
The Police Operations Officer, Mr Moses Kazibwe said the MPs were arrested for holding an unlawful assembly contrary to the Public Order Management Act.
“MPs defied the law and we had no option but to use reason force to arrest them,” he said.
Prior to being arrested, Mr Nambeshe said they would not relent until UNRA responds to their demands.
The deceased, Patrick Kirya breathed his last when a tipper lorry registration number UAX 474H carrying sand rammed into a Kampala Cement truck registration number UAU 733K. The tipper driver is believed to have been blinded by the cloud of dust raised by a speeding Y.Y Bus that was heading to Mbale.
The injured, Geoffrey Ssabakaki, Kirya Kayanja, Kyukla Sabali, Michael Wandera and the tipper driver only identified as Silva were rushed to Mbale Regional Referral Hospital.
“UNRA gave us assurance that the contractor will be on site within two weeks but the contractor is not yet here. We will not relent with the mission to mobilise citizens to protest over the continued sorry state of the road,” he said. “This is just the beginning and worst will come if UNRA does not comply with its promise. People are totally disappointed with government delays to finalise works on the road.”
He said the road is not suitable for transport because it has become a death trap.
According to a September 2 letter by the UNRA Ag. Executive Director, Ms Edna Rugumayo, the organisation in May 2017 terminated the contract that was awarded to Dott Services to rehabilitate the road because the contractor did not want to be supervised.