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Mourners Plead for Investigation of School Fires

The mourners mainly his parents Oliver Namatovu and Kasozi Mark plus other in-laws, friends and teachers could not hold their tears as Sserugga’s coffin was lowered down the grave. Some of including Namatovu passed out and they were put on drip.
Sserugga being laid to rest on Sunday. photo by Davis Buyondo

Audio 8

Nine-year-old Savio Mark Kasozi Sserugga, a Primary Four pupil who perished in a dormitory fire at St. John’s Day and Boarding Primary School in Kyotera on Saturday, was on Sunday laid to rest at his ancestral home in Kigalambi-Lukondo village, Byakabanda sub-county, Rakai district.

The mourners mainly his parents Oliver Namatovu and Kasozi Mark plus other in-laws, friends and teachers could not hold their tears as Sserugga’s coffin was lowered down the grave. Some including Namatovu, who could not help it, passed out and they were put on a drip to restore and maintain their condition.

According to the parents, Sserugga, their eldest of three sons, did not live to realise his dream of becoming a priest. 

The horrible incident happened on Saturday leaving several learners injured and property burnt to ashes. 

None of the school authorities and rescuers noticed that one of the learners had remained in the burning dormitory until the fire was put out. It aws during the inspection of the devastated dormitory that the teachers and officers saw charred remains which later turned out to be of Sserugga. 

His body was taken to Masaka regional referral hospital for a postmortem and later handed over to the family members for burial. During a requiem service led by Fr. Edward Kawunde of Kasozi Parish, prayed for the deceased and the bereaved family members.

//Cue in: “Naye tusabire……………'//

Cue out:…………oli gwokikoze.”// 

Fr. Joseph Kamoga, the parish priest of Luvule Parish in Masaka, appealed to the school directors and headteachers to improve the security of the schools to avoid similar incidents from occurring. 

FrvKamoga further said that with the poor fire brigade response in Uganda, many children and school buildings are at risk. He adds that they are few fire trucks in the region and too old to reach the venue in time. He noted that in most cases property or life get lost due to delayed response.

//Cue in: “Tubasaba ba headmaster……………;//

Cue out:………………omuto kiki kyategeera.”//

He attributed the incident to unresolved wrangles which involved innocent children. 

He appealed to the police to investigate and produce all reports about the fires that occurred in St. Bernard’s SS-Mannya, Buddo Junior, and the recent ones in Kawempe and St. John’s Day and Boarding Primary schools.  

//Cue in: “Kibi nyo abantu abo……………'//

Cue out:…………mukama abankumire.”//

John Lubowa, the Director –St. Johns primary school, says it was absurd to start the new term in shock. He explains that they tried so hard to put out the fire unaware one of the learners had died inside the dormitory. 

//Cue in: “Mubulamu waliwo………………..''//

Cue out:…………kikangabwa kyamanyi.”//

He further recounts the incident explaining that it caught them by surprise to learn that one of their students had died. Lubowa says that without government intervention to investigate the cause of the school fires more lives may be lost.

//Cue in: “Natuuse nendowooza……………'//

Cue out:……………………..etuwe report,.”//

He later pledged to sponsor one of Sserugga’s siblings to study up to primary seven in commemoration of his death.George Bush Bbaale, the Byakanda LCIII, noted that without government intervention in the ongoing arson incidents parents may get scared of taking their children to boarding schools. He adds that such incidents are usually sparked by envy or unresolved disputes among the school proprietors.

//Cue in: “Omuntu yakaza omwana………………//

Cue out:………..netuzikwatanga mubwangu.”//