Tuesday, August 21, 2012


Three of the victims of the helicopters which crashed in Kenya. They are (left to right)Wo David Kakube, Capt. WS Letti ne Lt. Nahamya. GOD REST THEIR SOULS IN ETERNAL PEACE ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------- It is sad the tragic death of Uganda’s soldiers in the helicopters in Kenya, May the Almighty grant then eternal peace. That said, it is incumbent upon the Government of Uganda to ensure that the families of the dead officers while on duty are catered for as would be the case if the bread winners had not died. It is unfortunate to realize that care to these families is done selectively. If need be, a law should be in place to guide the process across the board. I remember those UMEME staff who died on duty at Kajjansi when power was switched on as they worked on the High Voltage Line to State House, it is not clear the state of those families. I recall while a staff of Uganda Commercial Bank a number of fellow staff died in accidents during the currency exchange of 1987, it is not clear whether the children of these people were helped. By William Kituuka Kiwanuka ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- CHOPPER VICTIMS FOR BURIAL TODAY By RISDEL KASASIRA Posted Tuesday, August 21 2012 at 01:00 In Summary Defence Spokesperson Felix Kulaigye said the seven will be buried in their ancestral homes. Kampala All the seven UPDF soldiers, who died in the three choppers that crashed on Mt. Kenya last week, will be laid to rest today, the army has announced. They will be buried at their ancestral homes, one week after three of the four choppers heading for Somalia crashed. Capt. William Letti will be buried in Okuambo Village, Oluko Sub-county in Arua District while Lt. Patrick Nahamya will be laid to rest in Akakoma, Kenshunga in Kiruhura District. Lt. Nelson Mulumba will be buried in Namazira Sub-county in Namutamba District and 2Lt. Robert Mushabe will be taken to Mugore, Nyabusozi, Kiruhura District. WOII Kakabe David Zikosoka from Watambogwe, Mayuge, S/Sgt Mweshezi Ruhamata, from Bunyaruguru, Rubirizi and Sgt Lukwago Charles of Najjembe, Buikwe will also be buried today. Investigations The board of inquiry headed by Gen. Salim Saleh is yet to begin investigating the cause of the multiple crashes that have caused a big loss to Uganda’s air force. A group of seven survivors remained in Nairobi to work with their Kenyan counterparts to remove the contents of the two choppers. One chopper out of three that crashed got burnt and killed all the seven who were on board. The three Russian-made Mi-24 combat helicopters were flying to Somalia to support African Union troops battling al-Qaeda-linked al-Shaabab insurgents, who have been pushed out of Mogadishu but still control large territory in central and South Somalia. rkasasira@ug.nationmedia.com ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------- BODIES TAKEN TO BOMBO FOR AUTOPSY
The remains of the seven airforce officials being received by former colleagues. PHOTO/Arthur Kintu newvision By Francis Kagolo The bodies of seven Ugandan soldiers, who died in the helicopter crash in Kenya, were Saturday afternoon returned to Uganda. They were taken to Bombo military hospital for a post-mortem, from where they will be transported to their ancestral homes for burial on Tuesday. Their plane landed at the Entebbe military airbase at about 2:30pm amid heavy rainfall. Defence minister Cryspus Kiyonga, defence state minister Jeje Odong, army commander Gen. Aronda Nyakairima, his deputy Gen. Ivan Koreta, airforce commander Maj. Gen. Jim Owoyesigire and over a dozen other army generals, lined up in the rain to receive the bodies. The caskets, covered by the Uganda flags, were later taken to a tent, where a short funeral ceremony was conducted by Muslim, Catholic and Protestant religious leaders. The senior human resources officer of the African Union Commission, Ian Chingwalu, accompanied the bodies to Uganda. He said the death of the soldiers was a loss to the whole of Africa. “They died on duty. What they were doing was not only contributing to the security of Uganda, but the whole world. As AU, we are proud of Uganda’s contribution to peacekeeping and the success achieved in Somalia,” he said. Dozens of relatives camped at the airbase for several hours to receive the bodies, periodically sobbing and shedding tears as they waited. They named at least 15 orphans from six families. Kiyonga promised that the Government would support the bereaved families and ensure the children get education. He criticized opposition politicians who attacked the Government over sending troops to Somalia. He explained that five years ago, Parliament unanimously approved the Somalia mission. Owoyesigire said Capt. William Letti, pilot of the plane that went up in flames, was one of the most experienced in Uganda and dismissed accusations that those could have been junk helicopters. “Why don’t you go to the bush and we get you there, then you will know that these are not junk helicopters,” he said. The probe Meanwhile, the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) has joined the investigations into the ill-fated chopper crash. Kulayigye confirmed that ICAO would be part of the probe that will comprise members from the Kenya Defence Force and Uganda. President Yoweri Museveni early this week appointed a probe committee that will be headed by the presidential advisor on security, Gen. Salim Saleh. “The President appointed four members and we are waiting for the chief of defence forces to appoint the other three so that they are seven,” Kulayigye confirmed, adding that the committee would start its work next week. The fallen heroes are: Capt. William Letti Lt. Patrick Nahamya 2nd Lt. Robert Mushabe 2nd Lt. Nelson Mulumba WO. David Kakube Sgt. Mweshezi Rahumata Sgt. Charles Lukwago

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