Salama school for the blind tragedy remains shrouded in mystery, a year later

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By Samalie Kisakye

The haunting memory of the October 2022 inferno at Salama School for the Blind in Mukono district still casts a long shadow, leaving teachers, parents, and survivors grappling with the traumatic aftermath of a tragedy that claimed the lives of at least 12 visually impaired students.

One year later, the wounds remain fresh, as the nation awaits answers from a yet-to-be-concluded police investigation.

Kalamu Shamira, Pirotho Pretty, Gladys Namugga, Rebecca Namulondo, Damalie Nalugwa, and Mudondo Patricia were among the 12 young lives lost in the tragic blaze that engulfed the school in Kisoga village, Mukono district.

Those who miraculously survived continue to carry the scars, while their teachers remain haunted by the memories of the incident.

At the time of the inferno, the police vowed to swiftly bring the perpetrators to justice, but a year later, the public is still left in the dark. The promised report on the investigations is yet to see the light of day.

Nile Post recently revisited the Salama School for the Blind to assess the current situation and found the Kisoga community in a state of calm, but still living in shock.

As preparations for the opening of a new dormitory are underway, survivors, like a primary pupil, bear the physical and emotional scars of the fire. The trauma persists, leading to fear at the sound of alarms or any loud noise, as they dread the possibility of another arson attack.

Matron Diana Mukebezi, who looks after the students, reflected on the pain that refused to fade. Her love for these visually impaired learners keeps her connected to their well-being, even as they have been forced to stay in staff quarters due to security concerns at the school.

Police had earlier confirmed that the fire was an act of arson, revealing on January 31, 2023, that it was ignited by a male figure. They also mentioned collecting DNA samples from all the males at the school to identify the individual responsible.

However, the country is still waiting for the police to shed light on the identity of this male figure, as the investigation remains shrouded in mystery.

In this poignant and unresolved tragedy, the Salama School for the Blind and its community are left grappling with both physical and emotional scars, while the nation eagerly awaits answers that have been slow in coming.

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