ISO probes Lake Victoria boat disaster

kaka

The Internal Security Organisation (ISO) is probing the criminal element in the tragedy, where the MV Templar destined to K-Palm Beach Resort in Mukono capsized near Mutima Beach Resort on Saturday, November 24, leading to the loss of 32 lives.

A total of 27 revellers were rescued and some others have been reported missing.

ISO Director General Col. (rtd) Kaka Bagyenda, in an interview confirmed that a team had been put in place and they had started their investigations.

“We have a team in place that is probing whether there was criminal negligence, political subversion, economic crime and, where possible, terror,” Kaka said.

He said their investigations would supplement the ongoing probe by the Police. Bagyenda said they were interested in interviewing some of the survivors, although they were aware that some of them were hiding from the public.

“Yes, we would be interested in interviewing as many of the survivors as possible, but most of them do not want to be exposed. We are aware that some of them were bigshots, especially in the business circles, while some are university students who wouldn’t want to be associated with the tragedy,” Bagyenda said.

On Tuesday last week, the Uganda Police Force Criminal Investigations Department, recorded a statement from businessman Fredrick Kiyimba popularly known as ‘Freeman’, who allegedly sponsored the cruise.

They also summoned Buganda prince David Wasajja, who by Monday, had not yet recorded his statement.

Kaka also noted that it was possible the boat was overloaded, but that most people were saved by the local fishermen.

President Yoweri Museveni, in a statement he issued a day after the accident, said the private boat owned by one Templar Bisase and his wife, was seemingly overloaded because, whereas it had capacity for 50 people only, it had about 120 passengers on board. Bisase and his wife were among.

The President said: “Obviously, the operators of this boat will be charged with criminal negligence and manslaughter.”
It seems the boat was overloaded because whereas it had capacity for 50 people only, it had about 120 passengers on board, who also seemed to be partying with a lot of music. They might not have heard the emergency commands of the captain, who is still unaccounted for.
Security is also hunting for a local welder and tractor driver, who were hired by Bisase to patch up holes in the boat and also push the boat back into the water. The two reportedly disappeared shortly after the incident. There are fears that during the process of pushing the boat back into the water, the tractor created a hole in the area that had just been welded, allowing in water.

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