By Albert Tumwine
The couple whose child was born in Maj Chris Magezi's official vehicle has named their daughter after the Uganda People's Defence Forces (UPDF) officer in honor of his kindheartedness.
Husama Ayebazibwe, 28 and his 25-year-old wife, Amisha Namulumba welcomed their second born in a manner they will never forget.
“This was a miracle and Chris (Magezi) is a hero for saving both my wife and the baby,” said Ayebazibwe in an exclusive interview with The Kampala Post.
“We have decided to name our daughter Ayebazibwe Sumaia Magezi. We must remember that man because I had lost hope. That man (Chris) is a hero,” said Ayebazibwe.
Ayebazibwe is a document laminator and shared that he is a low income earner, explaining why he couldn't hire a vehicle to take his wife to hospital.
How it all happened
When Ayebazibwe’s wife got pregnant nine months ago, the couple did not find out until the pregnancy was about three months and throughout the pregnancy period, the couple was unsure of when the baby would be born.
“Our first born is about one and a half years and when my wife got pregnant, it took us some time before realizing it,” says Ayebazibwe adding that the couple learned from Katabi Hospital that their baby would be born toward the end of September.
“We were receiving antenatal (care) from Katabi Hospital and the doctor told us that the child would be born mid-September or toward the end of the month,” says Ayebazibwe who resides in Kitala near Garuga along Entebbe Road.
Ayebazibwe adds that it came as a surprise when he returned home on a Friday evening to find his wife with labour pains.
“I knew the time was approaching so I had been looking for some money for transport to the hospital. That day (Friday 15 September), I went to town to look for money but I failed. I asked my friend Mulindwa to help me with Shs20,000 but he said he didn’t have money. I was only lucky that my other friend, Kasozi managed to give me Shs5,000 which I would later use for transport from home to the main road,” says Ayebazibwe.
The Journey to the main road
At first, Ayebazibwe was puzzled because he didn’t have anyone to stay with their firstborn who is just one and a half years.
“I called my younger brother who operates a salon to come and stay with our other child but he didn’t act swiftly yet the situation of my wife was getting serious, she kept telling me she could feel the baby coming out,” Ayebazibwe shares.
Ayebazibwe’s brother finally arrived. At this moment, Ayebazibwe's prayer was to the reach Katabi Hospital where they had planned to deliver from as soon as possible. They jumped on the boda-boda and off they went.
However, the wife was in more pain. Labour had started and the lady knew it.
“Get me off the motorbike” the wife, in excruciating pain told Ayebazibwe. The husband pleaded for patience but as they approached the main road, Namulumba could not seat on the boda-boda anymore. She was taken off the boda-boda.
The next option now was to look for a vehicle but remember that Ayebazibwe only had Shs5, 000 which he had borrowed from Kasozi.
Ayebazibwe was now experiencing an adrenaline rush as a result of the uncertainty and anxiety.
But, he was able to remember a friend with a car in the area. He quickly rushed to his shop but he couldn’t find help there.
“He told me he had not come with it. He always parks it behind the house but I didn't bother checking anyway.”
Whatever Ayebazibwe was trying was not working out.
“I started flagging down people in private cars but people ignored me, most didn’t even stop. One stopped, looked at the condition of my wife and drove away. He said my wife was in too bad a condition that he could not risk carrying her, ‘what if she dies in my car, what will I do’,” one driver told a helpless Ayebazibwe.
Taxis kept snaking away but they were not an option. "She couldn't sit in a taxi.
Ayebazibwe could have probably sought the service of an ambulance but he had not contacts.
"I didn’t have any contacts of any ambulance service. I felt that this was the time for my wife to die,” says Ayebazibwe.
Although attempts to find help for his wife were increasingly showing no glimpse of hope, Ayebaziwe didn’t stop thinking of alternatives.
“I remembered that there is a clinic near Coin Supermarket on Entebbe Road. With the help of the boda-boda rider, we carried my wife to the place but unfortunately, the clinic was locked,” says Ayebazibwe.
"I was almost unconscious, I tried to stop any moving object to help me taking my wife to hospital but everything had failed," says Ayebazibwe.
Light at the end of a dark tunnel
While he pondered the next move, Ayebazibwe saw a man emerging from the supermarket and that man was Maj. Chris Magezi, the spokesperson of the Special Forces Command, a specialized component of the UPDF.
Dressed in civilian clothes, Maj. Magezi who is also the Public Relations Officer for the Senior Presidential Advisor for Special Operations Maj. Gen Muhoozi Kainerugaba had made a stop to buy some items from Coin Supermarket.
“I didn’t know who he was but I decided to approach him, I told him that my wife is in a bad state, she is about to deliver and I needed him to help us and drive us to the hospital.
“Without hesitation, he said he had noticed her state and helped me to carry our luggage into his car.
He started driving and after a few minutes, my wife said the baby was coming out, I asked her to be patient but she could not hold on. I removed her knicker and in a short while the baby was born,” Ayebazibwe explains.
Both gentlemen in the car, Maj. Magezi and Ayebazibwe were bamboozled but they braved the situation.
Maj Magezi speaks out
Maj. Magezi understands the risk of carrying a woman in a condition like Namulumba was in but he told this reporter that:
"The incident on Friday was quite a remarkable and humbling one for me. What I did is what I was convinced was the most rational course of action in the circumstances.
I feel profoundly honored by the parents to name their baby daughter after me because they need not do it.
Rather this experience is the result of UPDF's long held tradition of building and sustaining strong civil-military relations wherever we work from," said Maj. Magezi.
Social Media reacts
On that day, Maj. Magezi couldn’t resist sharing the story of how a lady had given birth in his official vehicle.
“I had to tweet about it, I couldn’t let this story go untold,” says Maj. Magezi.
Following the UPDF officer’s tweets about the incident, social media users especially on twitter reacted, some praising Maj. Magezi for having a “golden heart”.
Other Twitter users suggested that the baby is named Christine, from Maj. Magezi’s first name ‘Chris’ although the parents preferred the surname - Magezi and the daughter is now; Ayebazibwe Sumayia Magezi.
Asked whether he had read the reactions and suggestions on social media, Ayebazibwe answered in the negative.