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Another three schools burnt

By Vision Reporter

Added 9th July 2008 03:00 AM

Another three schools in the country went up in flames in the last two days, according to the Police. Two of the fires were caused by undisciplined students, while one was caused by negligence.

Another three schools in the country went up in flames in the last two days, according to the Police. Two of the fires were caused by undisciplined students, while one was caused by negligence.

By Vision Reporters

Another three schools in the country went up in flames in the last two days, according to the Police.

Two of the fires were caused by undisciplined students, while one was caused by negligence.

Little Flowers Day and Boarding Primary School in Kalisizo, Rakai district was gutted by fire yesterday morning.

Aisha Girls High School in Isingiro district and Victoria College in Masaka were burnt on Tuesday. This takes the number of school fires since April to 34.

The latest fire outbreaks came as the Police announced a massive campaign in Mpigi, Wakiso and Kampala districts to sensitise school authorities on fire safety and prevention.

The Little Flowers incident occurred at 10:00am when a fire swept through one of the girls’ dormitories, destroying property of 38 pupils worth millions of shillings. Nobody was injured.

The fire was detected by a pupil who had gone out for a short call. She raised an alarm, drawing the attention of teachers and area residents.

“We rushed there to fight the fire but it had already spread,” one of the teachers Collins Mugabi said.

Gorette Nazziwa, the matron of the dormitory, had been arrested in connection with the fire, according to Andrew Sorowen, the Southern Region Police Chief.

The fire is believed to have originated from a charcoal stove that had been left burning in Nazziwa’s room attached to the dormitory while she was away teaching.

“The fire started from the charcoal stove and spread to other items in her room, then the whole dormitory,” Sorowen said.

On Tuesday, a fire suspected to have been started by angry students raged through a dormitory in Aisha Girls High School, destroying the building and the property inside.

Eighteen students have been arrested in connection with the fire. They were yesterday still being held at Isingiro police station.

Police said the students used paraffin to start the fire which blazed with fury for more than one and a half hours.

Those arrested had been interrogated and recorded statements in which they confessed, citing four reasons, said Police spokesperson Judith Nabakooba.

“They claim the teachers punish them, the food is bad and the school’s counselor discusses their problems in public. They also protested the expulsion of some of their colleagues,” she said, adding that 17 of those arrested were minors.

The third fire outbreak occurred in Lukaya, Masaka district, where riled students of Victoria College, protesting an eviction order, torched property including desks.

The situation was quelled when Lukaya Police boss Apollo Bategyerize ordered the court bailiffs to halt their activities.

Court at Lukaya recently ordered Victoria College to leave their current premises following a petition by King David High School director, David Bbaale.

In a press briefing in Kampala yesterday, the Police highlighted measures put in place to stop the disturbing trend.

Joseph Mugisa, the assistant commissioner in charge of operations, said their sensitization campaign had so far covered four sub-counties in Wakiso district and Mpigi.

Under the programme, the Police are working with about 10 private security firms from which schools can purchase fire detecting equipment.

A massive sensitization campaign has been planned for Kampala this Friday, to take place at the City Hall, where head teachers will be sensitized about fire safety and prevention.

Assan Kasingye, the commissioner in charge of community affairs, reaffirmed the view that students were largely responsible for the fires. He cited three cases of attempted arson on July 6 alone.

These include Stella Maria High School in Masaka, where students were arrested in possession of accelerants, and Wagwa High School in Lukaya, where four students are being held.

In yet another incident, fire on Wednesday morning gutted a two-stored building used as residential apartments for three primary school head teachers in Jinja Municipality.

The fire, that started at about 9 am and raged for over an hour, burned the ground floor of the building, belonging to the Jinja Municipal Council. Nobody was injured.

“We rushed there to fight the fire but it had already spread,” Collins Mugabi, a teacher, said.

Gorette Nazziwa, the matron of the dormitory, has been arrested, said Andrew Sorowen, the Southern Region Police Chief.

The fire is believed to have originated from a charcoal stove left burning in Nazziwa’s room attached to the dormitory while she was away teaching.

On Tuesday, a fire suspected to have been started by angry students raged through a dormitory in Aisha Girls High School, destroying the building and the property inside.

Eighteen students have been arrested. They were yesterday still being held at Isingiro Police station.

The Police said the students used paraffin to start the fire which blazed for more than one-and-a-half hours.

Those arrested recorded statements in which they confessed, citing four reasons, said Police spokesperson Judith Nabakooba.

“They claim the teachers punish them, the food is bad and the school’s counsellor discusses their problems in public. They also protested the expulsion of some of their colleagues,” she said, adding that 17 of those arrested were minors.

The third fire occurred in Lukaya, Masaka district, where riled students of Victoria College, protesting an eviction order, torched property including desks.

The situation was quelled when Lukaya Police boss Apollo Bategyerize ordered the court bailiffs to halt their activities.

In a press briefing in Kampala yesterday, the Police highlighted measures put in place to stop the disturbing trend.

Joseph Mugisa, the assistant commissioner in charge of operations, said their sensitisation campaign had so far covered four sub-counties in Wakiso district and Mpigi.

Under the programme, the Police are working with about 10 private security firms from which schools can purchase fire detecting equipment.

A massive sensitisation campaign has been planned for Kampala this Friday, to take place at the City Hall, where head teachers will be sensitised about fire safety and prevention.

Assan Kasingye, the commissioner in charge of community affairs, reaffirmed the view that students were largely responsible for the fires. He cited three cases of attempted arson on July 6 alone.

These included Stella Maria High School in Masaka, where students were arrested in possession of accelerants, and Wagwa High School in Lukaya, where four students are being held.

In another incident, fire on Wednesday morning gutted a two-storeyed building used as residential apartments for three primary school head teachers in Jinja town.

The fire, which started at about 9:00am and raged for over an hour, burned the ground floor of the building. Nobody was injured.

(Filed by Steven Candia, Herbert Ssempogo, Abdulkarim Ssengendo, Ali Mambule and Donald Kiirya)

Another three schools burnt

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