A London doctor and three members of his family were killed in a road crash during a holiday to visit relatives in Uganda.
Doctor Henry Obonyo, 77, his wife Kevina, 73, and daughters Eliza, 46, and Marjorie, 39, who all lived in south London, died when their rented people carrier spun off the road after a tyre blew out. More after the cut…
Their two other daughters and four of their grandchildren also suffered serious injuries in the crash in the north of Uganda on January 2. The family had returned to the country for the first time in 30 years to visit relatives over Christmas. Caesar Poblicks,
Dr Obonyo’s cousin, said: “It is the most horrible tragedy. Henry’s remaining children are completely heartbroken by the loss of their mum, dad and sisters. “Marjorie and Eliza’s children have also lost their mothers. It’s too much to think about.”
Doctor Obonyo was a pivotal figure in the ousting of President Idi Amin’s brutal regime during the Seventies. He fled into exile in Tanzania before returning to serve as health minister under President Tito Okello Lutwa before the general’s short-lived government was overthrown in 1986.
The family moved to Purley where Dr Obonyo worked as a urologist and his wife as a nurse until their retirement. The couple were taking four of their six children to see their home village in the Lamwo District when the smash took place.
Their two other daughters Carol, 42, and Helen, who each have two young children, survived although Helen’s two daughters Gabriella, five, and Annabel, nine, were in a critical condition. Eliza, a Wandsworth council payroll officer who lived in Battersea and volunteered at a church in Tooting, was killed instantly alongside with her parents. She leaves behind a 16-year-old daughter, Malaika.
Her sister Marjorie, a local council employee who lived with her two daughters and husband in Denmark Hill, died in hospital. Carol, a lawyer, was said to have pleaded with doctors to be allowed to give her sister blood because of a shortage at the hospital but was refused because of her own fragile state.
Friends and relatives gathered at the family home in Purley last week to pay their respects. Dr Obonyo’s two sons, Norbert and Francis, have travelled out to Uganda. It is understood the driver of the minibus has been arrested.
Mr Poblicks said: “Henry was the most kind and caring man. He was hugely respected in Uganda and by the Ugandan community in London. He was so excited about showing his family Uganda.”
Mr Poblicks said the family wanted a “proper investigation” to rule out foul play because of Dr Obonyo’s political history.