Fuel Siphoning Fire Victims Demand Government Compensation 18 Years Later


By Solomon Hamala




Relatives of persons who died in a fuel tank explosion that left over 100 people dead and victims are now asking for compensation from government after 18 years.


The oil tanker caught fire while the victims were siphoning fuel after it overturned at Busesa village in Bugweri district, along the Iganga- Bugiri Highway.


The incident that occurred on December 6 2001 left over 100 people dead and 80 survivors who sustained serious injuries.


Now the relatives of the deceased and survivors have come up to ask government for compensation citing hardships.


The group led by Yusuf Nyende Kirunda who gathered at the grave of the victims at Busesa village along Iganga –Bugiri road on Wednesday 4th September reminded the government and particularly President Museveni to come to their long awaited rescue since families of the victims still suffer ever since the incident.



Nyende said that some of the relatives who died left relatives with responsibilities like catering for orphans and widows in different aspects which is challenging them.


He added that even the survivors currently cannot work due to the nature of the severe injuries they sustained on their bodies especially hands and legs.


He revealed that they have tried to raise their concerns to relevant authorities and the President during the previous general elections but all in vain.


He asked President Museveni to be merciful to them as he has done in similar incidents like recently in Rubirizi where he compensated victims, Bududa landslides incident and famine in other parts of the country.


Nyende told eastnews that the act of government not compensating them is a sign of isolation and discrimination yet they are all Ugandans who support the ruling NRM government.


Proscovia Naigaga, a widow who lost her, son Ronald Wagubi tearfully said that her son had become a father at home who was shouldering all the responsibilities of the family.


She added that currently she cannot afford to pay school fees for her children plus that of the deceased besides providing other necessities like clothing and accommodation among other things.


Isa Maganda, a survivor said that such assistance if it came would help them start up small scale businesses to cater for their respective families since they cannot work because they became disabled.


The development comes after the President visited victims of fuel tanker in Rubirizi district, Western Uganda two weeks ago which left 23 people dead and others injuries.


He gave Shs5million for each deceased and also gave aid to survivors and promised to compensate those who lost their property in the incident.


Efforts to get a comment from the District Resident District Commissioner (RDC) Iganga, Eve Nalongo Kwesiga about the matter were futile as her known telephone number was off by press time.