Details of the Masaka School Fire Incident
|Monday, October 30, 2023||Fire at Kasaana Junior School dormitory.|
|Seven children killed; three injured.|
|Tuesday, October 31, 2023||School officials reported matron Christine Adong was outside during the fire.|
|Wednesday, November 1, 2023||Sam Njuba, father of one victim, expressed doubts and questioned the school’s actions.|
|Wednesday, November 1, 2023||Police took four school staff into custody for questioning due to conflicting information.|
Sam Njuba, the grieving father of 5-year-old Austin Kisomose, who tragically lost his life in the Kasaana Junior School dorm fire on Monday, has cast doubt on the school administrators’ account of the incident. His son was among the seven young lives claimed by the blaze, which also left three other children injured.
Initial reports from the police attributed the fire to a short circuit, supposedly caused by matron Christine Adong charging her phone. However, during his son’s burial at Kikerere Village in Bukulula Sub-County, Kalungu District, Njuba raised several unsettling questions regarding the circumstances of the children’s deaths.
Njuba questioned the matron’s whereabouts during the fire outbreak, her unscathed condition, and her apparent failure to rescue any of the children. He also expressed concerns about the school guard’s absence during the incident.
The school administrators, when visited by officials from the Ministry of Education and Sports, contradicted the police report. They claimed that the matron was outside during the fire and had fainted due to reasons unrelated to fire injuries. Njuba, addressing a large gathering of mourners, called for a detailed and accurate report while criticizing the school authorities for their silence in the aftermath of the tragedy.
Simultaneously, he accused the school of neglecting parents who were attending to fire victims at Masaka Regional Referral Hospital and Kiruddu Hospital, where his son tragically passed away. Njuba revealed that he never received any calls from school administrators but had received a suspicious call that seemed to downplay the importance of his child’s postmortem report.
Njuba raised further questions about the school’s actions on the night of the incident, such as the timing of their notification to parents and their response to the tragedy.
On Wednesday, the police announced that they were holding at least four Kasaana Junior School staff members due to conflicting information they had received. Southern regional police spokesperson Jamada Wandera disclosed that statements had been recorded from school head teacher Joseph Ssenkasi, dormitory in charge Nicolas Akandwanaho, night watchman Gozanga Ssenyonga, and teacher Daphine Nakabito. Wandera emphasized their commitment to providing a genuine report on the inferno.
Njuba, in a heart-wrenching revelation, shared that he had spoken to his son on the phone the day before the fire. His son had requested Shs20,000 for a school-organized party. The father noted that Austin sounded unusual during the call and described his desire to become a doctor to care for his sick grandmother.
Additionally, Kasaana Junior School board member Ronald Lumu, speaking on Wednesday, highlighted the school’s efforts to save the children’s lives, particularly the actions taken at Masaka Regional Referral Hospital before the students were transferred to Kiruddu. He cited the provision of fuel for ambulances as an example of the school’s commitment.