By Eddie Ssejjoba and Eric Yiga
Her Royal Highness, the Princess Royal Anne of the United Kingdom royal family and her husband, Sir Timothy Laurence are scheduled to visit the Salaama School for the Blind at Luga village, Ntenjeru town council in Mukono district where eleven children perished in a mysterious fire that caught the school on Friday morning.
At least eleven children perished in the fire and 16 others sustained serious injuries when fire broke out in the girls’ dormitory on Tuesday morning, October 25, 2022.
According to the program earlier released by the British High Commission of Princess Royal’s four-day visit to Uganda between October 25 and 28, 2022, she was scheduled to visit the school on Friday October 28.
“The Princess Royal, as Patron of Sense International, will visit and tour the school, meeting the deafblind students being supported by Sense to gain access to education and learn vocational skills. Sense works to ensure that people with deaf blindness can access education, healthcare, and employment,” the statement reads in part.
Tina Wamala, a communication specialist at the British High Commission in Uganda said there was no information of change of program of Princess Royal’s visit to the school and said if it happens, the head of logistics will inform the public accordingly.
Meanwhile, a team of security officials including the commander of the Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence Maj. Gen. James Birungi, the Director of Crime Intelligence, Brig. Gen. Christopher Ddamulira Sserunjogi, the Commander of the Kampala Metropolitan Police Stephen Tanui and several government officials and ministers visited the school.
Maj. Gen. Birungi while addressing the press, however said the security were not taking the incident lightly since the country was facing threats of terrorism, given the fact that the Princess Royal and her husband were scheduled to visit the school in a few days.
He however added that he did not want to preempt their investigations. He directed schools especially in remote areas to deploy more security personnel to beef up security to guard against any similar incidents.
He said the security would investigate and get to the core of the cause of the fire at the school.
The state minister for Gender labor and social Development in charge of Disability Hellen Asamo also visited the school and said the government would conduct DNA analysis to enable them identify the
bodies of the children who were burnt beyond recognition.
She added that she would ask the Office of the Prime Minister to intervene and meet the burial expenses and appealed to the parents not to take away their children since they are about to do their exams.
The 11 deceased children identified
Agnes Nantume P1, Rebecca Namulondo P1, Ket Nandutu P1, Leticia Nakayima P1 and Josephine Namuwonge P1. Peace Nalumisa P3, Patricia Mudondo P3, Pretty Pilioty P4, Shamila Kalamu P5, Gladys Namugga P5.
Survivors; Dorcus Ulika, P6, Damali Naluyima P3, Blessings Namuyomba P1, Paula Ndagire, Stecia Nabuuma P1 and Annet Namawejje P1.
State Minister for Primary Education Hon Joyce Morica Kadichu noted she would work hand in hand with the school and the ministry to ensure the children sit their final exams without any disruptions.
On the issue of tightening the security at the school, the Minister directed the police to set up a police post at the school to beef up security and to ensure no reoccurrence of such an incident.
But some parents however insisted on taking their children, fearing for their safety.
The Mukono Chief Administrative Officer, James Nkata informed the minister that the boarding section had been operating illegally since it had never been inspected and registered by the education