Death toll rises to 52
The Member of Parliament for Manjiya county John Baptist Nambeshe has come under criticism from victims of Thursday’s landslides which are believed to have killed more than 50 people.
Some of the angry survivors of the mudslides from the affected villages of Kiteteyi, Wanjenuwa, Nalutungu and Bunamwamba in Bukalasi sub-county have blamed MP Nambeshe for misleading them when he allegedly told them that Bududa was safe.
Speaking to this reporter, angry residents said that following the previous landslides, they were ready to vacate the landslide-prone hills only for Nambeshe to advise them to the contrary.
“After the previous landslides, the Office of the Prime (OPM) Minister came and registered all willing residents who wanted to evacuate the place but our leaders frustrated the operation,” said Richard Khaukha, a resident of Bunamwamba.
Khaukha’s comments come in the wake of reports that government purchased some 2000 acres of land in Bulambuli to resettle the most-at-risk population of Bududa.
“They told us that Bulambuli was even more dangerous than this place. Now see what has happened!!” said Khaukha, who lost four of his closest relatives to the recent mudslides.
The Sunrise tried in vain to get MP Nambeshe’s point of view, as his telephone was off.
While trying to calm the angry victims of the mudslides, John Musila, the district chairman of Manafwa called for caution among the people and not rush to point fingers.
“I don’t want our people to begin blaming us their leaders during crisis period. You are the people who elected us.
It is true the government bought some land in Kiryandongo and in Bunambutye in Bulambuli district but when I went to the ministry of lands, I realized that in Bunambutye there is less than 2000 acres of land which cannot accommodate this population” he said adding that residents should just sell off their land and shift on their own behalf.
Musila added that he experienced a similar incidence in May this year but because he had warned his people to keep away from the cracked mountain, a tragedy was avoided.
By the time of publishing this story, the death toll had risen 52 bodies that had been confirmed recovered from the mud in the most affected villages.