By Watchdog reporter
On Monday, the king of Buganda Ronald Muwenda Mutebi during the 25th Lukiko at Bulange Mengo, publicly recognized seven eminent people, who served the kingdom diligently and with a selfless attitude.
One of the honored people was the late Yvonne Namaganda, a young girl who played a heroic role to save other pupils’ lives in the Budo Junior School inferno.
Her sister, Maureen Nakayima, who the Kabaka sponsored in memory of Namaganda, walked what Buganda Premier Charles Peter Mayiga described as the “step of fame” to thank the Kabaka for recognizing the contribution of her younger sister.
Namaganda lost her life whilst rescuing her colleagues from an inferno that gutted Nassolo dormitory in 2008, killing 19 other girls. She was only nine years old.
One of the inferno survivors, a one Ketra Namubiru was quoted by Daily Monitor on 27 February, 2016 saying, “With the fire almost at the door and some children still inside crying, Namaganda went in and started pulling some children out. She did this for about five times until she went in and never came back,”
Five years after the incident government made a partial payment to the agreed out of court settlement with the parents of the victims as compensation for the loss. The former Wakiso District chairman Ian Kyeyune was quoted in the media on June 19, 2008 as saying “there was a human hand in the inferno … it was not a mere accident since there was no power or fire in the dormitory and the children had already gone to bed”.
Unfortunately, nine years down the road, government is yet to release a report on the cause of the fire.
In 2016, Government also recognized the contribution of Namaganda with a Rwenzori medal.