FDC presidential candidate, Kizza Besigye, and his campaign team nearly drowned in Buvuma islands side of Lake Victoria on Friday.
While President Yoweri Museveni suspended his campaign to receive Pope Francis at Entebbe airport, Besigye sought to catch up with voters in Buvuma before attending the Namugongo martyrs shrine papal mass.
Members of Besigye’s team told us that during the huge procession on the lake, boatmen lost control of their engines while dancing to songs sung to welcome the FDC strongman.
“Boats knocked one another and it was a chain of knocking on the lake but thank God no one has been badly injured.”
Moses Atocon Atyekwo, a member of Besigye’s social media team narrates how the fun fair was not only confined in the land but the celebrations extended into the lake, with supporters hiring convoys of boats to escort the people’s president back to the main land.
Atocon says the people’s president [Besigye] couldn’t resist to join the excitement “like many in the boat, KB jumped out and stood in the open waving back the “V” to them and dancing his usual strokes”.
He says the engine operators of two boats joined in the dance and lost control of both the boats which collided several times.
“Just as they were about to capsize under the wheels of the huge ferry, nearly 20 people in the small boats, the passenger in the ferry started to make distress calls, at that moment the operator of the ferry took a quick decision and risked to stop in the middle of the lake to rescue the people from the submerging boats.”
He says the whole team participated in evacuating the people from the capsizing boats to rescue them from drowning.
“On the lighter note one of the survivors rushed to Besigye and said “ha… let me shake your hands… I was dying before getting such opportunity”.
Commenting on the incident, FDC Secretary for Mobilization, Ingrid Turinawe narrates:
“Our supporters this aside of the landing site…were full of excitement and in different groups they hired engine boats that made a convoy on the lake in hurry to meet the ferry and accompany it back to the landing. It was just like how [sic] boda bodas make a procession in town”.
“We saw them arriving from the front side and sailing in celebrations to the dance tunes of “Toka kwa bara bara” … We were all excited, they started sailing in circles as the ferry moved between them, among them included men and women, they were throwing NRM cards and T-shirts a float in the lake.”
Buvuma Island (sometimes ‘Uvuma’, locally ) is the largest island in the Buvuma Islands chain, in Lake Victoria in Africa.
The chain of islands known as Buvuma Islands, consists of more than fifty islands and is located a few kilometres off the northern shores of Lake Victoria, Uganda in the Napoleon Gulf.
Buvuma lies approximately 25 kilometres (16 mi), by water, south of the major city of Jinja, and around 90 kilometres (56 mi), southeast of the national capital, Kampala