The school registered two fire incidents in a space of two days. The first one, on Friday night, which burnt Corby dormitory and destroyed all the students' properties and the second fire which gutted Kivebulaya Dormitory on Sunday Afternoon.
The double fire incident at
Gayaza High School might be a tip of the iceberg on the multitudes of
underlying challenges choking the country's oldest all-girls boarding school.
The school registered two fire
incidents in a space of two days. The first one, on Friday night, which burnt
Corby dormitory and destroyed all the students' properties and the second fire which
gutted Kivebulaya Dormitory on Sunday Afternoon.
In their communication, the
school administrators have insisted that these were 'minor incidents which have
been blown out of proportion by people on social media'. But they have also
continued to restrict access to the school premises by parents and Journalists.
Association-PTA leaders, old school association members, the board of governor
and Church of Uganda education department director, have been in a series of
meetings, to find answers to the puzzle.
One of the members who attended
the meetings intimated that members were worried about a possible conspiracy,
entwining politics, power struggles, and religion. "The first fire was an
isolated case but the second incident left several questions. They have been
accusations and allegations on possible foul play," the source disclosed.
Rev Paul Kakooza, the Director of
Education Services in Church of Uganda, who also attended the meeting has since
confirmed that the matter came up from several staff and administrators, who, however,
he Rev. advised not to put their efforts on the useless talk which might be
instigated by ‘haters’.
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The director, however, says that although
they have information on the matter, the time is not yet ripe for them to discuss
it before police conclude its investigations.
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In October last year, the
observer newspaper reported a clash between the education ministry and Church
of Uganda, the founding body of the school, over who could succeed Victoria Serunkuma
Kisarale who had been at the helm of the school for 10 years.
After a stout battle, the
ministry successfully appointed Robinah Kizito Katongole against the church’s
choice of Gayaza Old Girl Agatha Nakisekka Ssenyonjo. Rev Kakooza notes that
the church agreed to the appointment of the new Headteacher and moved on to
enable her to steer the Institution.
In the same development, Sam
Kuloba, the commissioner in charge of secondary education at the Ministry of
Education, notes that since the appointment of the new headteacher, he had not
heard of any leadership woes at Gayaza since the ministry had consulted the
foundation and both agreed on the person who was later deployed.
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Amid the incidents, parents
reminded the most feared person. Unfortunately, most of them have since refused
to put their plight on record fearing the possible dismissal of their children.
A few who spoke on conditions of anonymity showed the fear that their children
would be insecure amid whatever is going on at the school.
Police investigations have
already established that the two incidents were not an accident. However, they
are still investigating who could behind the plot and the real motive.
"Whoever lit the fire is
sending a message which we are yet to establish. The two fires were lit at the
time when the known times that students wouldn’t be in dormitories. The second
incident confirms this lead," an officer privy to the investigation told
The Kasangati Divisional Police
Commander Edison Muhangi notes that investigations are still ongoing. But the
absence of Closed Circuit Television -CCTV Cameras at the school has slowed
"If the school had CCTVs it
could be easy to identify whoever accessed the dormitories before the fires.
Currently, we have no suspects. Investigators have already interrogated staff,
students and administrators," says Muhangi.