Student dies in Kyamate school fire

This photo taken on February 27, 2023 shows a section of one of the dormitories that were devastated by fire at Kyamate Secondary School in Ntungamo Municipality on February 26, 2023. PHOTO/PEREZ RUMANZI

What you need to know:

  • Kyamate is the only government secondary school in Ntungamo Municipality.
  • President Museveni and first lady Janet Museveni went to Kyamate Primary School for their early education.

At least one student died while three others were injured when fire gutted two dormitories at Kyamate Secondary School in Ntungamo Municipality on Sunday night. 

On February 27, the school head teacher Emmanuel Arinaitwe said the fire which started at around 9:30pm at Nyerere and Mandela dormitories was allegedly set up by arsonists.

“The occupants were mainly S.1 students who had been asked to give space for the rest of students to utilize the available solar power source in the school as we had no power since Friday,” Mr Arinaitwe said.

Mr Arinaitwe disclosed that three students were injured as they tried to rescue properties while student Bonus Ankwatireire from Isingiro District was burnt to death by the fire.

Several properties belonging to students including mattresses, beddings, beds, books and other personal property were destroyed in the two dormitories that house at least 80 students in each hall.

A student who spoke to Monitor on Monday claimed that a “group of former students were seen jumping over the school fence to access the dormitories before they ordered all S.1 students who were in the rooms to shut up.”

“They were about ten people and when they entered, they tied one student on the bed and ordered all of us to remain silent. They had a jerry can of petrol which they spread across the room,” said the student who preferred anonymity.

He added: “They immediately left. After, we untied the student but as we struggled to move out, fire started.”

Police and army officers who were at the scene early Tuesday morning refused to talk to the press saying “they were not authorized to comment on the issue which is now under investigations.”

However, a police officer who spoke to Monitor on conditions of anonymity said: “Police have recovered an empty plastic can suspected to have contained petrol behind the fence of the dormitory. Police are hunting the main suspect in the arson to assist in investigations.”

The Ntungamo municipality mayor Jacob Kafureka condemned the incident calling for God’s intervention and justice while the Eastern Division chairperson Elias Beinomugisha Kakyafu urged calm.

By press time, the deceased’s body had been taken to Itojo Hospital for postmortem.