Updated by Faith Barbara Namagembe at 2218 EAT on Thursday 7th July 2022.
Police are holding four students of Lyantonde senior secondary school in Kaliiro sub-county, Lyantonde district on accusations of attempting to torch their own school.
The suspects, all senior four candidates, were arrested following a fire outbreak at the administration block on Wednesday evening.
According to the school administration, the students broke into the electricity meter box on the main administration block where they started a fire with intention of burning the entire school. The school headteacher, Lilian Lwendeire Kawaya, says that they did not suffer significant damage because the teachers responded swiftly and put out the fire. She says they have handed over the matter to the police for thorough investigations.
Muhammad Nsubuga, the Greater Masaka regional police spokesperson confirmed the arrest of the students who are in custody at Lyantonde Central police station, saying that available intelligence links them to the fire incident.
According to Nsubuga, the suspects were sometime back suspended from the school over misconduct and could have plotted to burn the school in retaliation. Godfrey Mbetegyerize, the Lyantonde resident district commissioner explains that during their suspension, the suspects rented a house in Lyantonde town council, adding that there are indicators that they have been stealthily sneaking into the school premises.
He says that they have instructed all schools in the area to reign in over naughty students and step up their security surveillance mechanisms to prevent eventualities that jeopardize the life of other students and properties.
The incident comes barely two weeks after students of St. Gonzaga Kijukizo secondary school in Lyantonde sub-county also set the school administration block on fire.
The fires preceded strikes at St John’s Comprehensive school and Ian College all in Lyantonde district in which they vandalized properties as they protested what they described as maladministration, suspension of students, and poor feeding.
Mbetegyerize says the repeated incidents have prompted the district security committee to summon all head teachers for an engagement on how to secure the schools from similar strikes.