Parents of Salama fire victims reject plan to bury children at school

A woman walks in front of the burnt dormitory at Salama school for the blind in Luga, Mukono District on October 25, 2022. PHOTO | AFP

Parents and guardians of the 11 pupils who were killed when fire gutted a girls’ dormitory at Salama School for the Blind in Mukono District on Monday last week have rejected a proposal to have the children buried at the school.

On Tuesday last week, Mr Francis Kinubi, the school head teacher, said they wanted all the victims to be buried at the school so that a monument is erected in their memory.

However, Mr Kinubi’s proposal was met with stiff resistance from the parents and relatives of the victims, who said they want to bury the children at their homes.

“They should not talk or even think about burying our children at the school. I raised this child when her mother abandoned her,” Mr Tingo Openja, the father of Pretty Parwoth, one of the victims, said. 

He added: “I want my child’s body. I don’t want to hear anything else.”

Ms Jane Namatovu, a resident of Gulama in Buikwe District and the grandmother of Peace Nalumiisa, who also died in the fire, said: “Since last week we have been patiently waiting for the bodies of our children to be handed over to us. We can’t accept them to be buried at the school,” Ms Namatovu said.

Mr Francis Tumusime, the school deputy head teacher, said they have since abandoned the proposal.


Yesterday a number of parents and relatives of the victims camped at the school waiting for information of the planned memorial service that is being organised by the school.

“By tomorrow (Tuesday) we hope all the bodies would have been identified and we shall have a Requiem Mass on Wednesday after which we shall hand over the bodies to relatives for burial at their respective places,” Mr Tumusiime noted.

  Mr Patrick Onyango, the police deputy spokesperson, yesterday said a forensic team had on Friday gone back to the scene of crime for the second time to reconstruct the scene of crime. 

A police officer, who requested not to be named, told Daily Monitor: “We are investigating a number of leads and the forensic team would give its findings this week on whether fuel or gas was used to start the fire.”

The source said preliminary investigations indicate that the fire was “deliberate”.

“The fire was not because of an electricity short circuit but someone deliberately started it. We are yet to find out who this person/s is and the motive,” the source said.

 Another investigator dismissed claims that the school matron, Ms Diana Mukebezi, tried to evacuate the learners from the dormitory, noting that the matron did not sustain any injuries. 

Mr Fred Kayondo, the Mukono South MP, asked police to quickly investigate the incident and furnish the leaders with a report.