BY PAUL WAISWA
Arnold Simbwa, one of the survivors of the recent Lake Victoria boat tragedy, has repented and turned his life to God after what he believes was a miracle.
The 43-year-old shared his testimony on Sunday at Victory Christian Centre Ndeeba after accepting Jesus.
Simbwa, flanked by his wife, admitted that like many others who got onto the ill-fated MV Templar boat, his family members had no clue where he had gone. It is only a house helper who saw him move out of home with a bag.
When news broke out about the boat capsizing with Prince David Wasajja on board, his family believed he was dead because he was regularly in the company of the Buganda royal.
“If you have watched those videos taken before the boat capsized I was that guy that was dancing on top. I was very drunk. When I got down I decided to take a power nap onto of a very loud speaker. The music was so loud but I slept off,” he says.
Simbwa was woken up by a wet sensation he felt in his shoes. “I thought I had urinated on myself but upon checking myself I realized that water had gotten into the boat. The waves on Lake Victoria were very violent that day on top of all the issues the boat had,” he said.
The boat was being rocked from side to side and the generator and the music speakers fell into the water which Simbwa says should was the revelers’ first warning that there was trouble.
He was able to tell when a big wave was about to hit the boat (thanks to swimming trainings he had undergone) and lunged onto the sides of the boat. Simbwa chose not to swim because, even though the distance from the boat to the shore was short, he knew he would probably drown because of the state he was in. When the boat eventually capsized, he held onto the boat
“There is a man who was holding onto my leg and I wanted to kick him but I knew that I would not forgive myself for the rest of my life. So I let him hold onto it because I knew the water would eventually wash him away. I could not give him my hand because in that time you are selfish…it is about you. He let go of my hand leg slowly by slowly until the water swept him away.”
He says that while held onto the boat, he said a prayer to God and asked him for only one chance to right the wrongs he had done.
“I said ‘God please help me. My children are still young. Give me a chance to raise them’,”
Simbwa narrates that initially there was a lot of struggle as the revelers fought to save their lives but in a short period of time the lake was quiet and all he could see were dead bodies with a few cries.
“I heard some few people crying out for their children which I think was wrong because the more you talk or shout the more you lose breathe,” he says.
Simbwa did not jump onto the first rescue boats because they were overcrowded and he could tell that they would also capsize. When the third boat came, the fisherman asked him to only hold onto it but not get inside it because it was also already over packed.
According to Simbwa, many of those who had been gotten from the water died because they were not given CPR.
“I thank God that he has given me a chance. I still need God. My home is in disarray. We still have a lot to talk about with my wife. A lot has been said but I believe that this is a good start,” he said.
He says that his wife who got saved recently had been begging him to get saved but he had refused.