Police in Jinja have arrested and detained a driver of Isuzu forward vehicle for knocking and causing serious injuries to pilgrims on Saturday afternoon at Mailo Mbili in Jinja city.
The driver of this motor vehicle registration number UBE 168J which injured at least four pilgrims was identified as Yusuf Mugwa, 24, according to Kiira region police Spokesperson, ASP James Mubi.
Those who sustained serious injuries were identified as Taaka Winfred, 62, Nambuya Jennifer, 49, and John Baptist Basole, aged 66. Another one was Fred Elebo, 22, who sustained minor injuries.
“The driver who knocked and injured four pilgrims at Mailo Mbili is in custody at CPS Jinja and the vehicle which was involved in the accident was impounded and parked at Bugembe police station,” Mubi said before identifying three who were seriously injured and another who survived with minor injuries.
However, ASP Mubi assured pilgrims of total security through Jinja city and Jinja district saying that they have intensified their patrol services using vehicles, motorcycles and foot patrols. He said that intelligence is on ground with help of CCTV cameras and that ambulances are readily available to evacuate pilgrims in case of any emergency.
“We have set up 24 hour Namugongo standby CID personnel to handle specifically cases related to Namugongo in an expeditious manner. Those intending to cause havoc will be dealt with accordingly using the long arm of the law. Our intelligence is on ground and all CCTV cameras are functional,” ASP Mubi assured.
Meanwhile, on Monday May 29, 2023, Bishop Charles Martin Wamika of Jinja diocese will flag off pilgrims who are gathering at Lubaga Hill Cathedral in Jinja city tomorrow May 28.
“They will use the new bridge and as Jinja police, we’re ready to provide security before, during and after the season of Namugongo 2023,” Mubi said before reminding all priests of their mandate to register all pilgrims from their respective areas of jurisdiction as a devine order.
Some Pilgrims trek from various areas of Uganda and the neighbouring countries to commemorate Martyr’s day at Namugongo which is a national public holiday in Uganda on June 3rd.
The day commemorates the 45 martyrs, both Catholic and Anglican, who were killed on the orders of Kabaka Mwanga II, then King of Buganda between 1885 and 1887 for not denouncing their faith in 1886. This year’s celebrations at the Catholic shrines are being led by the Catholic diocese of Jinja, Busoga sub region.