The First Lady who is also the Minister of Education and Sports, Mrs. Janet Museveni has strongly condemned arsonists who started the fire that gutted 2 dormitories of St. Bernard’s Mannya Secondary and Vocational School in Kyotera, Rakai District.
She said, “I came here to pay condolences, strengthen you and tell you that we stand with you in this terrible tragedy. President Museveni also has sent his condolences to all the grieved families and the community at large. This premature death of the 9 students and the rest who suffered from burns must be condemned in the strongest terms possible.”
According to security personnel, a total of 9 students died on the spot while 25 were admitted in various hospitals. The inferno burnt the senior one and three dormitories. The students, parents and stakeholders in the education sector were in a sombre mood as some of the students’ suit cases were still releasing smoke at the time of the First Lady’s visit on Monday afternoon.
The School which is founded by the Catholic Church and is supported by the Government is a mixed institution.
Mrs Museveni said that the Government wants the long arm of the law to trace the criminals responsible for the barbaric incident and added that the Government would not rest until it apprehends the culprits. She revealed that the Government has supported the bereaved families and those undergoing treatment in the various hospitals.
She reminded the gathering that it was the duty of the community to look out for the School. She observed that these students were the future of our country and reminded the community to guide and sensitize the students into being good people, and to learn from this early age what is good or evil, and to always try to do what is good and avoid evil .
She paid condolences to the families that lost their dear ones and thanked the security personnel who moved in time, the media, the leaders and all stakeholders for all that they have done to calm and comfort the community.
The State Minister of Health Moriku Kaduchu thanked the First Lady for travelling to the School to pay her condolences.
The State Minister of Finance Haruna Kasolo welcomed Mrs. Museveni to the School. He urged the stakeholders not to allow satan to defeat them.
Bishop Kaggwa of the Catholic Church, Masaka Diocese thanked the people for turning up and for the spirit of rushing to rescue the school from the inferno. He revealed that the Catholic Church built the Institution in order to develop the area. He also condemned the arsonist for locking the students in the dormitory. He urged the parents and students not to despair.
The M.P. of Kakuuto, Christopher Kalemba called on the Government through the national Parliament to maintain the death sentence for murders. He observed that such a measure would discourage criminals from committing such acts that are contrary to humanity.
The Rakai District LC 5 Chaiman Benon Mugabe saluted Mrs. Museveni for her coming to the school to commiserate with the community.