The family and friends of Templar Bisase, the owner of the ill fated boat that capsized on Lake Victoria killing 30 people, have accused government of using the deceased as scapegoat for their incompetence.
Templar Bisase and wife Sheila were among the victims of the boat cruise that capsized while sailing towards Mutima beach with over 120 revellers on board.
In the aftermath of the tragedy, different government institutions and President Museveni claimed that the boat was unregistered, uninsured, unlicensed and flagged unsafe several times.
The police also claimed that Bisase’s boat had been in poor mechanical condition and had been barred from sailing on the waters, but had eluded them time and again.
Museveni specifically said the boat owners (Bisase) would have faced prosecution for man slaughter and negligence had they survived the incident.
However, during a requiem service for Templar and wife Sheila at St Thomas Church in Kira, Wakiso District, relatives and friends counter-accused government of negligence and using Bisase to walk out of the situation unscathed.
“The police say they have been looking for this boat and they failed to find it, a whole boat that parks at Ggaba landing site and not in a garage! Government should own up to some of their mistakes instead of accusing others. They should learn from it and ensure it doesn’t happen again,” Brian Mukasa, a friend of Templar’s said.
Stallone Irabizi who claims to have worked on the boat with Templar also accused government of trying to run away from its responsibility of inspecting and licensing the boat.
“How can they (Government) say the boat had no licence yet it has been operating for 10 years now? That means the licensing department of government is incompetent. I have known Templar but he has never been part of the licensing department of government,” he said.
According to Irabizi, Templar was a good swimmer and it is disturbing how he could have failed to swim his way back to the shores.
“I think he died trying to save others,” he added.
Templar and Shiela are survived with three children. They were buried at their ancestral home in Kyaliwajjala.