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By Isaac Wandubile 

Rose Bossa, the wife to State Minister for Lands Dr. Sam Mayanja, this Monday morning moved mourners to tears and angry murmurs when she revealed what she went through on Friday as she struggled to save the life of her 23-year-old daughter Belinda Birungi. The young lady, who had graduated from UCU in July this year and was slated to begin work at NC Bank this Wednesday, died Friday night following a tragic accident she was involved in  shortly before 8pm along Stretcher Road in Ntinda.

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She was less than a kilometer away from her parents’ residence in Ntinda’s upscale Ministers Village. She was returning from Muyenga for a social evening with friends who she joined to celebrate her Thursday admission into the University of Massachusetts for a Master’s degree.

Rose Bossa, a senior Manager at DFCU Bank, had just returned from work and completed her early supper before saying her pre-bed prayers when a phone call came through. “It indicated it was Belinda calling but when I picked it wasn’t my daughter speaking the other side of the line. It was someone else. He introduced himself as the doctor and said your daughter has got an accident and is here in the hospital,” Mayanja’s wife told mourners who filled St. Charles Lwanga Catholic Church Ntinda to capacity this Monday morning.

Ms Rose Bossa, who had already been wondering why Belinda hadn’t stepped forward to welcome her from work as she always would do, got the family driver to rush her to Uganda-China Friendship Hospital in Naguru where responders had rushed her daughter moments earlier. “I was too terrified to drive by myself,” she explained as Belinda’s OBs, OGs and former teachers from Kampala Parents, Seeta High and UCU (who seemed to be the majority in the church) struggled to process their grief.

Understandably, it was too much for the not-so very old mother because Belinda had been her everything in a multiplicity of ways.

“My daughter was everything to me. She was my prayer partner and companion and we always came to this church as parishioners together and we had our known corner where we used to sit,” she said as she pointed at the place while imploring the Parish Priest Edward Muwanga (who led the requiem mass) to consider allocating her a new place because she won’t be comfortable in that old corner anymore without her Belinda.

“She was my daughter but I always admired her and I kept telling God to give her to me for many years because I felt I needed her around me for many more years to come. She took good care of her siblings [Micheal Mayanja and Elizabeth Kisakye] whenever I was away. And she took very good care of them.”


The phone call came in when the mother, who likes returning home and going to bed early, had just finished watching evening Luganda news on TV. She would pray after supper and go to bed, that early, as she always does. On her way to the hospital, she saw the damage and stampeding the trailer accident had caused and she grew even more scared of her daughter. “I looked at the trailer and became even more traumatized reflecting on the fact that my daughter had been involved in all this. I doubted if she was still alive. I was too traumatized and my legs began freezing. It’s good someone else was driving and not myself.”

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During the phone call, she demanded to speak to Belinda but the doctor hesitated passing on the phone. “But I would hear my daughter crying and agonizing in the background because, as I later on established, she was in too much pain. As I prepared to set off I rang Maryline, Belinda’s friend, who had just been with her to understand more. She told me she had just got the news and was on Boda Boda rushing to the hospital too. She was at Bitala [traffic lights of Nakawa] and we agreed to meet there,” she narrated as the entire congregation, which had Ministers, attentively listened.

When they linked up heading to the hospital, Maryline told Ms Rose Bossa she had taken the risk to pass by and check out the accident scene where she was able to see the cap Belinda had been having on her head as she boarded the SafeBoda from Muyenga where she had left them. “She told me it must have been such a bad accident and indeed many people had died. The medical team at the hospital told me your daughter is lucky. She is out of danger and is going to be a survivor to testify about God’s goodness. They kept saying she must be a very prayerful girl [which she was at the priests testified at the Church service].”

The mother also painted a picture and narrated what she found inside the hospital room: “I found my daughter lying there. My Belinda couldn’t say anything and I’m not sure if she even recognized me but I thanked God she was breathing very well and they said she is going to be okay. They told her mummy is here and she was only gesturing with her eyes unable to say anything intelligible. The phone of her rider, who died on spot, was there in her bag and I thank those Good Samaritans who did their best to rush her to hospital,” she narrated before proceeding to inadvertently reveal the ways in which the Naguru hospital medics messed up things culminating into her daughter’s death.

As she spoke more and more, mourners in the audience realized there was much more medics could have done but didn’t do to save Belinda’s life. “They assured me she isn’t badly off except that she had pain which needed to be managed. They said we need panadols which I had to go and buy myself.”

Apparently, as of that time, there wasn’t much that had been done to the girl who initially was coherent and talking well to the extent that she was able to ask them to ring her mum. They had made the girl lie down on a bed inside what the mother was told was an emergency room. They even had to argue about the right position in which she had to lie on the bed.

“She kept signaling that she was having too much pain in the back and that’s how they started arguing on the right position she was supposed to be resting in as they arranged to administer some drips which they said would help her to stabilize to the original state. The nurses kept insisting they had already cleaned her but my daughter was so dirty because of the accident effect and even her trousers were torn and we had to cut everything to be able to remove the trousers. They would say they cleaned her already but my daughter was very dirty and full on mud the way she had been delivered from the accident scene.”

In the end, she had to clean her own patient as the very indifferent medics looked on before one of them subsequently told her “mum that’s how things are in this place.” They had no idea this was a Minister’s wife or someone holding an influential position at one of the biggest commercial banks in Uganda.

The emotionally broken mother (struggling to hold back tears) revealed that the idea to stitch the deep wound her daughter had contracted on the eye only came to be considered after she repeatedly inquired about the same. It was then that one of the nurses reluctantly said “ooh by the way we need to do some stitching for that wound.” This is how the Minister’s wife explained how it happened: “There was no one to help her [the nurse] on that and she had just reported for that night shift. I held up my daughter as the stitching was being carried out. I didn’t know what to exactly do but the good thing I had some emotional support from some of my sisters who live abroad because I had posted on the family whatsapp forum that Belinda has got an accident.”

After the stitching, she was put on some drip whose contents the mother didn’t even know. “They assured me this would give her sleeping stability and also calm down the pain she was experiencing. The good thing her whole body was intact and once they assured me there was nothing to worry about, I said let me rush home to organize and bring some beddings because it was now clear we were spending a night there. I planned to sleep in my car praying.”

The grieving mother also revealed the circumstances under which the team of clearly very indifferent medics came to refer to the need to do some scans and x-ray to ensure the young girl hadn’t fractured her internal parts like the brain etc. “They said for now let’s manage the pain and stabilize her as we plan to do the scan tomorrow which would be Saturday or the day after. I asked them why not now and they said it’s only done in Mulago. I then asked them don’t we have other places and they said Mulago was advisable because it’s a bit cheaper for many people.”

Mayanja’s wife is a very humble, calm and collected woman who clearly concealed who she was and her level of connections as a top corporate leader working at a leading financial institution. Up to that point, the Naguru medics, renowned for their indifference, didn’t know who they were dealing with. She says because she trusted their word, she opted to wait for Saturday as advised. But while at home, preparing to set off and drive back to the hospital, a phone call came through and it was her brother Tony (Belinda’s uncle who was among the few relatives she mobilized to go to the hospital and keep around as she rushed home) calling. “I was too traumatized having seen the trailer and the accident scene, I was unable to pick. Maybe I was getting premonition that something wrong was coming. I passed on the phone to Maryline, who had joined us with the driver, to speak to him.”

To his credit, Tony didn’t break the bad news as yet. He only demanded to know where they had reached while suggesting that they had better hurry up. He waited to them to reach and park. While in the parking, he went to his sister and held her firmly before revealing that “Belinda hasn’t made it.”

More trauma was to befall the already broken mother because of the rudeness with which the hospital staff communicated what had to happen next. “They casually told me we don’t release bodies at night and that’s our policy here at Naguru. They said go to your home and return tomorrow at 9am after we have carried out the necessary consultations with the one supposed to authorize the release of the body. It was very painful and I didn’t know what to do and asked God to provide the way,” narrated Belinda’s mother who Saturday afternoon had to be escorted back to the funeral home to go and dress up her daughter for one more last time. She thanked DFCU workmates, led by a one Aunt Solome, who escorted and encouraged her through that funeral home ordeal.

The grieving mother explained how one of Belinda’s sisters called Elizabeth Kisakye had just started her UNEB exams at Seeta High School and they had decided to keep the news away from her until her last paper is done. The other sibling has since refused to go back and there is doubt he will ever accept going back to Seeta High whose very supportive headmaster Davis Kafuuma was in Church and even addressed mourners about the Belinda he knew and taught for 6 years before she joined nearby UCU.

The Minister’s wife created more grief when she revealed her last interaction with Belinda. “It was about her admission to the College in the US for her masters and we were to begin processing the visa real soon. When the news came through, she was very excited and jumped around the house and told me she would forward the email to me to be able to understand the requirements. Indeed she forwarded it on Friday morning and I replied with ‘noted.’ She signed off ‘thank you mummy.’ Dear mourners that was the last communication I exchanged with my Belinda,” she explained moving many mourners to tears.

The Minister’s wife also made reference to Belinda’s graduation party which was held in July at Hotel Africana. “We sat down and agreed to do everything the way she wanted it because she wanted many people to be there yet we never knew that was to be her farewell party. Everything went so well exactly the way she wanted and the following day, she knelt down and said ‘thank you very much mummy.’ She also demanded and I decided to give her a graduation gift which was a trip to Rome and while there, fellow pilgrims kept interacting with us and wondering whether she was indeed my daughter and not sister,” narrated the Minister’s wife. “We took a lot of photos and Belinda made a full album but unfortunately I lost my photos when my phone got problems and she is the one who knew where and how she kept those photos.”


Belinda’s mother also revealed her struggles to get her daughter off Boda bodas. She revealed that during COVID lockdown, Belinda used Boda bodas a lot between their home in Ntinda and UCU campus in Mukono. “Each time I saw boda accidents on the news, my heart ran to think about my own daughter. I protested to her always and when I failed to convince her, I turned to God to change her on that but it never happened,” narrated the grieving mum. “She would say mummy don’t worry I use SafeBoda and those ones are disciplined and are okay. She refused taxis and always gave her reasons saying those people are very dirty and don’t smell good at all. They don’t shower. When she proved adamant, I advised and said Belinda please buy a helmet at least to protect yourself and now see where we have ended up. But that was the will of God which we can’t do anything about.”

She explained that Belinda frequented Mukono a lot during the process of clearing with her marks to ensure her name doesn’t miss on the graduation list. “She always looked forward to being very successful in life and would discuss with her other siblings on some of the business ideas she would pursue in case she failed to get a job but she is now gone. There is nothing we can do because God’s ways aren’t our ways.”

She promised to soldier on and be firm because of the emotional support she expects to continue receiving from her spouse Dr. Mayanja, her siblings and workmates from DFCU bank who constituted a significant part of the audience during the requiem mass. DFCU bank CEO Mathias Katamba spoke on behalf of his staff and mourned Belinda (who was born January 1999 at a time her mum was already an employee) as one of the many “DFCU babies” who have grown up in DFCU circles simply because their parents are employed there.

From the GoU side, Lands Minister Judith Nabakooba led a large delegation of fellow Ministers and Lands Ministry officials who were led by PS Dorcas Okalany. Ministers like Anifa Kawooya and Obiga Kania were also there and addressed mourners while registering their solidarity. KAA law firm, where Mayanja is a co-founder, was also represented by a powerful delegation comprising of Joseph Matsiko, Peter Kabatsi and Oscar Kambona. Several Judicial officers, serving and retired, equally attended in big numbers. These included ex-CJ Bart Katureebe, ex-PJ Yerokam Bamwine and others. See related reporting here; comments on this story, call, text or whatsapp us on 0705579994 [whatsapp line], 0779411734, 0200900416 or email us







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