In Wakiso district, residents of Kazo-Muganzirwazza II in Nabweru, Nansana municipality, came to the aid of a woman trapped in a burning house. On Tuesday night, the woman, who had covered herself with a blanket, escaped the flames with the help of concerned neighbors who had rushed to the scene upon hearing her cries for help.
The incident unfolded when the woman’s estranged husband allegedly attacked her during the night. He used a brick to break a glass window, entered her bedroom, and set the house on fire using petrol. The police are treating this as an arson case and an attempted murder in Kazo-Muganzirwazza II in Nabweru sub-county in Nansana municipality.
According to Kampala Metropolitan Police spokesperson Patrick Onyango, the suspect in this case, identified as Dan Sseremba, allegedly assaulted his ex-wife, Shariffah Nabateregga, while she was asleep in a rented room. Two days prior to the attack, Sseremba had taken their three children away from her. It is suspected that he returned that night with a small jerry can containing a flammable substance, which is believed to be petrol, and set the house ablaze while the victim was inside with a female friend.
An eyewitness reported seeing a man using a brick to break a glass window and then pouring the flammable substance inside before setting it alight. Police investigations revealed that Sseremba and Nabateregga had separated three years ago, with Sseremba relocating to an undisclosed location. During this time, Nabateregga had been caring for their children, including paying their school fees.
Onyango explained that Sseremba became suspicious that his ex-wife was involved with other men, leading to his alleged attempt to harm her. As the house burned, residents attempted to break in, and the woman, covered in a blanket, managed to escape while engulfed in flames.
She was quickly transported to Kiruddu Hospital for treatment. However, residents apprehended Sseremba as he tried to flee, mistaking him for a thief. They assaulted him severely, prompting a Good Samaritan to alert the police. Sseremba was rushed to Mulago Hospital in critical condition, where he is now receiving medical treatment while investigations into the attempted murder charges against him continue.
Police spokesperson Onyango issued an appeal to the public, urging individuals facing relationship issues to seek guidance from family members, local authorities, or religious leaders rather than resorting to violence. He emphasized that love should always be voluntary.
LC1 chairperson Ismael Kigozie stated that the council had made multiple attempts to reconcile the couple, but Sseremba had disappeared from the area for three years. He also noted that Sseremba had refused to support his children, leaving the burden on the woman who had been working in a local restaurant to cover all expenses.
Hussein Matovu, a neighbor and councillor, recounted how he was alerted by his children to a suspicious individual outside the house with a jerry can. He attempted to communicate with the individual, whom he identified as Tata Namata (Sseremba), but received no response. Sseremba attempted to ignite the house but was unsuccessful as people raised the alarm.
Onyango concluded by stating that the police were guarding the suspect in the hospital and that he would be taken to court once he had recovered.