By Moses Kizito Buule
An innocent child lost his life after his step mother locked him up in the house together with his three siblings while they were asleep and set it on fire.
The heart rending incident took place on Saturday night in Namuyenje village, Nakisunga sub county in Mukono district.
Shafik Jjuuko, 6, died of suffocation when Margaret Nampiima 27, set fire to their house while their father, Sulaiman Kanakulya, a lorry driver in Mukono town was away.
The other children; Sulaiman Mutebi 8, Shamim Nakimera, 9 and Hassan Geserwa 11 were rescued with injuries in the fire that also destroyed household property.
A grieving Kanakulya narrated that on the fateful night he saw smoke spewing from his house as he approached home at midnight yet the door and windows were all locked. He said he saw his wife fleeing the home with one of the children.
Confused, he said, he asked the wife what was happening but she said nothing and just kept fleeing. And that is when it hit him. His wife had just set his children ablaze and was fleeing with the one they share.
He said he raised an alarm that attracted residents who rescued the children and put out the fire. But it was already too late for little Shafik who had breathed his last. His three elder siblings were found huddled behind the door terrified as flames raged, consuming everything in their way. They had resigned to their fate.
With tears welling in his eyes, Kanakulya said he was shocked that the woman he had never had a quarrel with had tried to burn his children alive. He said unknown to him, his wife had severally told villagers she would kill him with his children.
Shocked villagers said Nampiima was a born again christian who had been preaching to people in the village and was a regular in church and never missed over night prayers.
Among some of the property that was not burnt were letters Nampiima had been writing to pastors to pray for her to have a blessed marriage.
The area LCI chairman, James Ssegawa, condemned the heartless act and cautioned women to mind their children when dealing with co-wives.
Mukono Police station chief Alfred Bagambaki said they have mounted a man hunt for Nampiima.