The Minister for Security, Gen Elly Tumwine has said that the tragic fire that killed eight students at St Bernards S.S Manya in Rakai district should be a lesson on how schools should approach security precautions.
It is reported that uknown assailants on Sunday night set a dormitory housing students ablaze resulting into the death of 8 students. Some other 25 students are admitted in hospital where they are nursing injuries.
According to Minister Tumwine, the arsonists poured petrol through the windows of the dormitory where a total of 58 students were sleeping. The incident occurred at midnight.
The Security Minister was speaking to journalists during his visit to the scene on Monday afternoon. At the school, Tumwine was accompanied by the State Minister for Micro Finance also MP for Kyotera, Haruna Kasolo and the Director of Internal Security Organization (ISO), Col Frank Bagyenda ‘Kaka’.
“They [arsonists] first locked the dormitory with two padlocks. That’s why there were some casualties. But people managed to break the padlocks and most of the students were rescued except 8 who died,” Gen Tumwine told reporters.
The dead students have been identified as Antonio Ssozi, Sam Nsubuga, Antonio Sekitende, Hudson Byamukama, Charles Suuna, Emma Kasozi, Maurice Basiita, Sharif Toyita, Timothy Bukenya and a one Jjunju.
Several other property including mattresses, suit cases, clothes and books among other scholastic materials were destroyed in the fire.
He said that security including the forensic teams have already started investigations into the matter, with hopes to find the culprits.
“Every parent is feeling this and the message is – we are with you. We know what losing your child in this way means. But we know there are bad people and bad people do bad things”.
To the school administration and other schools, the General said that there should be lessons on taking security precautions.
“The important thing is the lessons learnt on the security aspect for schools and the country as a whole. We always learn from every situation,” the Minister said.
He added that “we shall be outlining the precautions after what we have seen here”.
St Bernard’s S.S is a Catholic Church founded school is among the best performing schools in Rakai district.
Police said on Monday that three students and a school warden have already been arrested to aid investigations.