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Patrick Onyango

Two KCCA officials arrested as new details emerge in Makindye building collapse

posted onSeptember 12, 2020

Police has arrested two Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) officials and identified the owner of the building that collapsed in Kerezia zone, Makindye Division in Kampala District.

According to SP Patrick Onyango, the Kampala Metropolitan Police spokesman, the DPC Katwe SP Benson Byaruhanga received information at around 8:30pm that a four-storied building which had been under construction caved in.

He was also notified eight people were suspected to be trapped inside in the basement.

Onyango says the building, which is owned a one Kagolo, a businessman in Kikuubo, one of the key trading hubs in Kampala, had given away at 8pm.

Byaruhanga dispatched police officers to the scene and they were later joined by Police Fire Brigade. 

"On arrival at the scene, police were further informed that the victims were still talking and calling for help. For example, one Alex was calling his sister on phone," said Onyango. "Members of the public using axes joined Police in searching for the victims."

The rescue team was able to help one Godfrey Oonyu, 22, to get out of the rubble at around 11:45pm. Oonyu is a teacher and had been working at the site as a potter since schools are closed because of COVID19.

He has, however, unable to identify the number of people that were trapped. KCCA in the middle of the night brought an excavator and it is being used to rescue other victims.

Two KCCA officials that have been apprehended to help with investigations are the Makindye Division Physical Planner Anne Achom and Building Inspector Joseph Balikuddembe. 

"It is alleged that the KCCA officials currently detained at Katwe Police Station, learnt about the ongoing construction in that place without an approved plan," Onyango said. "Achom and Balikuddembe allegedly went to the site and issued a notice to stop the construction but later on they went and removed it and allowed them to proceed."

The owner of the building and the engineers are still at large.

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