Gone Too Soon: Justice Rwakakooko: The Amazing Story of Buloba Accident Victims Ulrich, Elli and Tara

The High Court Judge Jeanne Rwakakooko has said she got hyperventilation – a rapid abnormal breathing after she got the news that three members of the same household very dear to her had perished in a car crash. 

Ulrich Mugamba, 31, Elly Mugamba, 23, and Tara Mugamba, 21, who were all members of the same household of the retired Supreme Court Justice, Paul Mugamba perished last Friday after a trailer rammed into the car in which they were traveling at Forest Park, Buloba along Kampala – Mityana road.

They were returning from Fort Portal, Kabarole district where they spent their Christmas holiday. 

The fourth occupant, Victoria Mugamba who is the only survivor of the nasty accident is in the hospital fighting for her life . 

The deceased were laid to rest at their ancestral home in Fort Portal on Monday.

Addressing the mourners, Justice Jeane Rwakakooko – a sidekick to Elly and Tara’s mother, Judith said she had rapid abnormal breathing when she learnt about the accident. 

“When Judy (Judith Mugamba) called, she was screaming, we were coming from Ntungamo. I stopped at the petrol station, I was with Zozo in the car, I said Zozo get out, I locked the car and started hyperventilating. It is difficult when you have seen a child from birth [just perish like that],” she said

Justice Rwakakooko said the deceased were very dear to her because she was with their mother (Judith Mugamba) in the hospital for every child born. 

“I was there for every single child that was born. I was in the hospital with her. From Zoe to Elly to Tara to Victor and Jade, I was there. From the day they (Judith and David Mugamba) got married, we have been in their home, we go to their bedroom, I think it’s too much, but that is how we are,” she said. 

Justice Rwakakooko told the mourners that the day Judith got married to David is the day Rwakakooko and Mugamba family became one.

“There is no difference between our kids and the Mugamba kids. There is no difference between our family and the Mugamba’s. We are one, and we are treated with all the respect of siblings, and family.”


Justice Rwakakooko narrated that she first met Ulrich at Judith and David Mugamba’s wedding years back.

She was the maid, while the little lad was the pageboy.

With now the family connection, the duo’s bond would result in a lifelong friendship.

Describing him as “really kind and humble” just like his family – the Mugamba style, Justice Rwakakooko said Ulrich had grown and become a gentleman, and well behaved.

“He gives the warmest hugs. So every time I would d meet him, I would say I am going to find you a “Muhimakazi” to marry.”


Speaking about Elly who was staying in Amsterdam, Justice Rwakakooko said she was privileged to have visited him and his friend Clive in September.

She didn’t know this would be her last visit to him. 

“I don’t know if God was saying something. We had made all these plans to go for their graduations. We were going to do a tour of Europe, Amsterdam with the whole family with Kaka (grandmother) and something told me to go see Elly because we had never seen him in Amsterdam. I went to Amsterdam. He booked me an amazing hotel, did everything. They booked the best restaurants, we really had a good time. It was a good thing, it was four days. Four days of depth of telling me everything. They had matured. I went to their apartment, I went to their fridge and I said, you guys what’s in your fridge? They had fruits, they had eggs. They were so intentional about their lives. They wake up, they exercise, they go for a ride, they ride their bicycles. They were in the Amsterdam marathon. You know, it was such an intentional, intentional life that Clive and Elly lived,” she narrated.

The deceased

“I was so proud of them. I said, you guys, you have really grown. And we were supposed to go for their graduation. Judy and David have done so much for these kids. It was like their short life had to mean something, and it meant something. I was so proud of Elly. He is one person who used to “kukuula” (ask for money) all of us in such a nice way. He would come and say hi to Jean. You are looking so beautiful today. So don’t you love your nephew? And I know that he wants money to go out. And and you couldn’t do anything. You had to give it to him. So that was Ellie,” said Justice Rwakakooko.

“It is such a shame. It hurts so much. They were supposed to leave on the 6th of January and we were supposed to go for their graduation.”


“Now my Tara. Tara is my God child. She is our fashionista. She was so loving. She now would be saying, who doesn’t have makeup, who doesn’t have lipstick on.  She is the one person who would always make you feel kind,” Justice Rwakakooko eulogized Tara.

“Tara was a smart girl, she had direction. She always used to do like David (her father), everything had to be ABCD, school had to be ABCDE. She was my baby. And you would see her board had everything; all the universities she wanted [to join] and what her universities required,” said Rwakakooko. 

She had spent so much time in Turin in Italy for her pre University education. 


Rwakakooko told mourners that when the results came out, everyone was congratulating her for passing highly, but looking unhappy, Tara told them she had not performed well.

“What does that mean?” they asked.

“It means, I didn’t get A* A* A*. Meaning she got like 3 As. We said, Tara, that is amazing. She said I might not get into my first [choice] school.” 

However, when she was in Turin, Tara was a prefect, she used to write poems and books, She used to write books, and this landed her in Bristol in the UK.

“She may not have got all the A*, but she was a high achiever. My daughter was a high achiever. She was also as argumentative as me. When she had a position, she had a position. You could never get her out of her position. So that was Tara. Tara was so loving. Tara was again a fashionista, I’m sure now she would be saying, who doesn’t have makeup on, who doesn’t have some lipstick.” 

Justice Rwakakooko said that though she is grieving, she was happy that God took all the three together. 

“We loved those kids. We loved those kids every day. Honestly, I’m shocked and I will get over it. I’m sure time is going to make us understand. I’m not happy that they have gone, but I am happy that since God decided that He took them together, they will be together. I will miss my kids,” she said. 

The post Gone Too Soon: Justice Rwakakooko: The Amazing Story of Buloba Accident Victims Ulrich, Elli and Tara first appeared on ChimpReports.

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