Police and Ministry of Health officials in Uganda’s Busia District are investigating circumstances under which a Kenyan truck driver was found dead in the country.
The body of Mr Samuel Kinyua Wangware, 35, a resident of Mathira in Nyeri, Kenya, was on Saturday found inside the cabin of his truck at Busitema revenue checkpoint in Busia District by Mr Paul Njoroge, a colleague.
Busia District Police Commander Eriya Elepot said preliminary investigations into the death pointed to natural causes.
However, the police said they are working with medical teams to establish the cause of death.
Mr Njoroge said he had stopped his truck to greet his colleague, only to find him dead.
“I was heading to the Malaba border, saw his truck and stopped to greet him but unfortunately, I found him dead,” Mr Njoroge said.
Sources said the dead man had on Friday evening parked his truck, registration number KAT 578T, at the Busitema checkpoint while heading to Nairobi from Kampala and was complaining that he was feeling unwell.
After parking his truck, he was reportedly also seen replacing a faulty tyre before entering the cabin as darkness approached.
Mr Elepot cordoned off the area but had to wait for hours for a team from the Busia District Covid-19 taskforce to arrive as they contemplated the cause of death.
Mr Emmanuel Kibuguyi, a bodaboda rider at the Busitema stage, said they were in panic following the sudden death.
“We are fearing this might be coronavirus that has claimed the life of the driver,” he feared.
A team from the Busia District Covid-19 taskforce led by Dr Yusuf Lule arrived at the scene and first disinfected the truck before gaining access to the cabin where Kinyua’s body lay.
Documents found in the truck suggested that he crossed into Uganda through the Malaba border on June 7 carrying bags of hydrogen carbonate haded to Kikajo in Kampala.
Dr Lule said the cause of death was still unknown but medical teams and police were working together to establish it.
NO COVID-19 CERTIFICATE
No coronavirus certificate was found in the truck.
“We have not found any coronavirus certificate with the deceased, but we are going to get in touch with Malaba Port health officials to establish his Covid-19 status,” Dr Lule said.
Mr Kinyua’s death comes in the wake of stringent measures by the Ugandan government on truck drivers aimed at combating the spread of CoviD-19.
Mr Paul Mwesigwa, a truck driver, told the Daily Monitor that it is the high time regional governments started relaxing some of the restrictions on the truckers.
According to Mr Mwesigwa, whereas Mr Kinyua might have not died of Covid-19, he might have died of other illnesses due to failure to get treatment as a result of restrictions which cannot allow them to move out of their trucks even if one is sick.
The body was taken to Busia Health Centre IV’s mortuary for post-mortem.
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