Crime & Investigation

Suspect Held In Najjera Inferno

healing geneva; font-size: small;”>Kampala Metropolitan Police spokesperson, Ibin Ssenkumbi, says detectives have also “found a generator that uses petrol from the area where fire is suspected to have started.”

Ssenkumbi refused to reveal the identity of the suspect, saying it would jeopardize investigations.

Residents have since accused the widow of masterminding the inferno following a conflict with her husband over proceeds from the sale of the family land to Kawooya’s brother.

But Mrs Kawooya says it the deceased’s brother who burnt the house in which her husband was resting with their children.

The land was sold 24 hours before the incident.


Ssenkumbi noted that police has recorded statements from the survivors which will help in the investigations.

Initially, Police said the fire was triggered by a “fatal electrical shock.”

“We call upon the public to always switch off their electrical appliances before sleeping to avoid shocks which might result in colossal destruction of property and even death,” said then Deputy Police spokesperson, Patrick Onyango.

The deceased were identified as Ismail Kawooya, 45, the family head; and his daughters Saidha Namale, 16, a senior four student at Najjera High School and Shakira Nakabulwa, 6.

Kawooya’s wife and two other daughters; Akuram Ssenfuka, 8, and Rashida Namugenyi, 6, sustained grave injuries and were admitted at Mulago Referral Hospital in critical condition.

Onyango said three other girls including Ratisa Nansuku, 7, and Esther Nampiima who were inside the house at the time the fire broke out, escaped unhurt.

The roof of the main part of the six-roomed residential house caved in as Police firefighters led by a one Chihanda fought to stop the flames from spreading to neighbouring apartments.

The compound on which the house sat was found littered with debris of broken bricks, burnt window frames and electronic equipment.

The bedroom where the little angels and their father rested after dinner was reduced to rubble.

Smoke leisurely billowed through the roof like a python raising its head through thickets when Chimp Corps visited the scene.

Eyewitnesses said the dreadful sight and sickening stench of charred bodies of the deceased sent shockwaves across the village that overlooks Ntinda.

Wooden and sofa chairs, fridges, sound equipments, a television set and other household items were burnt to ashes.

The Police Fire fighters, who arrived at the scene in minutes, lost any chance of saving anything in the house when the roof of the residence collapsed, covering the source of the fire.

This prevented firefighters from directly attacking the blaze.

“We tried to gain entry, but the fire travelled so rapidly that the roof caved in prematurely. It did not allow us in. That’s when we lost it. It was out of control.

But we ensured the fire did not spread to other buildings,” recounts one of the firefighters at the scene.

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