Masaka School Fire Victims Identified

2339 Views Masaka, Uganda

In short
Police in Masaka have released the names of the five pupils who perished in the fire that burnt two dormitories at Leo’s Junior Primary School on Wednesday morning.

Police in Masaka have released the names of the five pupils who perished in the fire that burnt two dormitories at Leo’s Junior Primary School on Wednesday morning.

Simon Peter Wafana, the southern region police commander has identified the deceased as Shedirack Ziiwa, aged four years, Ernest Saali 4, Larry Musasizi Kyobe 7, and Mathias Galiwango. The fifth victim is yet to be identified.

Inspector General of Police Lieutenant General Kale Kayihura blamed the school administrators for failing to respect the Ministry of Education rules and regulations. He said that school dormitories should have escape routes and passages but because of failure by school authorities to honor these regulations the dormitories are too congested and they don’t have escape routes.

He noted that there is laxity amongst administrators which is caused by lack of enough enforcement by the Ministry of Education.

Kayihura said that school beds are supposed to be double-decker but most of the schools are still holding three beds on top of being congested which makes rescue of victims in case of fire outbreak difficult.

He however warned that all schools which fail to respect the set standards are likely to face closure and administrators face disciplinenary action.

 Mathias Mpuuga, the Masaka Municipality Member of Parliament, however, challenged the police to make complete investigation into the cause of the school fires which have hit the country again.

The Vice President Edward Kiwanuka Ssekandi also visited the burnt school and warned school administrators to always make use of fire detectors and alarms incase of any fire outbreak. The vice president gave one million shillings to each of the affected families as condolences.

 Meanwhile the head teacher Elly Kiyingi and the school director Leonard Sserwanja have been for alleged criminal negligence and are held at Masaka police station as investigations into the inferno goes on.

In 2008, at least 20 pupils of Buddo Junior School died in the fire that burnt their dormitory.