CICO Road Construction Works Halted, as Teacher is Knocked Dead in Kitgum
By Denis Opoka & Polycap Kalokwera
Kitgum Resident District Commissioner (RDC), William Komakech, has halted the activities of China Chongqing International Construction Corporation, CICO, after one of its drivers knocked dead a teacher on Friday.
The deceased, Richard Otim, was a -32- year- old teacher at Kitgum Town College and St. Bahkita Girls Secondary school.
The late Otim was knocked by a truck registration number UAN 774N belonging to the construction company, along Pager Christine road in Kitgum Municipality, on his way home.
Now, the RDC said he has decided to stop the works of CICO so that the matter is resolved before construction resumes.
“We will have a meeting with CICO management and resolve the matter before they are given the green light to resume their works,” Komakech said.
He revealed that CICO truck drivers have claimed two lives within a week due to reckless driving.
“A day before Otim was knocked; an old man was knocked by a CICO grader that was reversing around Lulungo near Bomah Hotel,” he said.
Dr. Geoffrey Akena, Medical superintendent at Kitgum hospital where the deceased was taken first, said Kitgum Hospital referred Otim to St. Mary’s Hospital Lacor, but he died on the way.
Dr. Akena said the deceased suffered a broken collarbone, chest organ disorder, internal bleeding that made his condition critical.
Galdino Opira, an uncle to the deceased, described him as a loving and caring man, who was a pillar in the family.
“We are saddened by the dead of our son. He has been taking care of several dependents and as we talk now their future is ruined. We hope justice prevails,” he said.
Martin Odwok, the head teacher Kitgum Vision College, who worked with the deceased at the Association of Secondary School Head teacher’s Uganda/ Kitgum, said Otim was a sociable and committed teacher, who was passionate about his profession.
Wilfred Okello, a language teacher at St. Bakhita, described the deceased as a hardworking young man, who worked diligently advocated for team work.
The deceased is survived by a wife, Irene Lamwaka, and three children.
At the time of his death he was pursuing a degree in Education at Kyambogo University.
CICO officials could not pick the repeated calls from the reporters. Their office at Kitgum was also highly guarded by the Army and Police who prohibited people from accessing the facility.
PRO Aswa region, Patrick Jimmy Okema, said investigations into the incident are ongoing.
CICO is undertaking the construction of the 7.6 kilometers road within Kitgum Municipality at a tune of Shs. 10 billion. The works started early this year and is expected to end in June this year.