Kampala. The Rotary fraternity and the Turkish Airlines on Monday failed to provide satisfactory reasons why the body of the fallen Rotary International president elect Sam Owori failed to arrive as scheduled.
The Rotary fraternity and the late Owori’s family members were forced to camp at Airport View Hotel in Entebbe as the arrival time for the body kept changing from 1:00pm when it was first announced until 3:45am the last time the airline quoted before this newspaper went to press.
Speaking in a telephone interview, George Makdowa the Turkish Airlines manager sales and marketing at Entebbe airport said the body failed to arrive in time because the casket was too heavy for the passenger flight which would have flown directly from Istanbul to Entebbe airport.
“Usually, bodies are treated as special cargo and if it is weighing about 150kg, we can put it in the passenger flight but because this one weighed 250kg, we had to put it in the cargo plane which can carry that weight,” he said.
Mr Kenneth Mugisha, the President district 9211, during a press conference to announce the delay, told journalists that the aeroplane carrying the remains of the president elect developed some complications which caused the re-routing of the flight to Riyadh in Saudi Arabia.
On Monday, Owori’s body was expected at Entebbe airport at 1pm. However, by 2pm, neither the airline nor the Rotary Fraternity had the Airway Bill which would have informed them where the body was.
The estimated arrival time kept shifting to 1:30pm, 2pm, 2:30pm and eventually 3pm when Mike Sebalu who was coordinating the receiving of the body, received the Airway bill which showed that the body was still in Saudi Arabia and it was expected in Entebbe at midnight.
When contacted last evening, Jemimah Katwesigye a sales and marketing officer at the Turkish Airlines Kampala office said the flight had left Riyadh for Istanbul at 4:50pm and it was expected at Entebbe at 3:45am.
However, Owori’s body which arrived this morning at Entebbe international Airport was not embalmed in the U.S. Instead it was frozen and it is now being embalmed at Mulago department of anatomy.
Parliament is today expected to pay tribute to the late Owori and tomorrow, Rotarians will gather at Lugogo Cricket Oval to pay their last respects.
On Thursday, there will be a requiem service at Namirembe Cathedral before the body is taken to Tororo District.
On Friday the body goes to his home in Kidera Tororo District and burial will take place on Saturday.