Monday April 21 2014

Four children die in house fire

Ms  Namugenyi  shows the burns she sustained in

Ms Namugenyi shows the burns she sustained in the fire. She was admitted to Kiwoko Hospital with her three other children . PHOTOS BY DAN WANDERA 

By Dan Wandera

Four children were burnt beyond recognition when the house they were sleeping in was set ablaze by a suspected arsonist.
Police have identified the dead as Sam Ssenfuka,8, Joyce Nakabuye,4, Rogers Kirumira,3 and Isaac Kalinda,1.
The children’s mother, Ms Juliet Namugenyi, 32, is nursing injuries together with her three other children who survived the inferno. They are Godfrey Kalunji (2), Fred Kakande (6) and George Kawoya, 10.

“Their mother and three other children are admitted to Kiwoko Hospital in Nakaseke District. It is sad the children perished in the house fire,” Mr Lamech Kigozi, the police spokesperson, central region, said yesterday, adding that the police are looking for the suspect as investigations continue.

Ms Namugenyi’s husband was away in Ngoma Sub-county for casual labour at a farm but he has since returned.
According to Ms Namugenyi, the house was set on fire at about 1am on Sunday. They were woken up by smoke and heat but their attempt to open the door were fruitless because the door was locked from outside.

“I tried to hit the door as I made an alarm but the door had already been locked from outside. When I opened the window for one of the children to jump out, we saw someone standing with a machete near the door. I managed to identify that person with my children who shouted out his name,” Ms Namugenyi narrates, adding that the suspect is a casual worker at different farms in Wakyato and Ngoma.
The suspect, according to Ms Namugenyi, tried to strangle her but he didn’t say a word. He then proceeded to throw back two of the children into the fire after they had managed to escape.

“I had become weak after the suspect tried to strangle me. I watched as the man threw back into the fire two of my children who had escaped with the others,” she says.

Ms Namugenyi said she believes the arsonist wanted money “because he had seen me sell a cow on Saturday”.

Kyaluwesi village chairman Moses Ssenkima said residents responded to the alarm made by Ms Namugenyi and her children but they could not save the lives of the four children who had already died. “We cannot at this time tell what really happened but the victim has described a man who is known to some of the residents and he is now on the run. We are waiting for police to carry out the investigation,” Mr Ssenkima said.

A nurse at Kiwoko Hospital said two of the children are out of danger “but we are waiting for the relatives and police to guide us on what to do”.

• Sam Ssenfuka,8,
• Joyce Nakabuye,4,
• Rogers Kirumira,3
• Isaac Kalinda,1.

• J. Namugenyi, 32,
• George Kawoya, 10.
• Fred Kakande (6)
• Godfrey Kalunji (2)