Parents of Buddo Junior School children who perished in the school fire five years ago have at last received partial compensation for the lives and properties of their children who died in the fire.
A fire in a dormitory at Budo Junior School in Wakiso, Uganda, claimed the lives of 18 children and 2 adults on Monday night, April 14, 2008. However, the actual cause of the fire still eludes the Uganda Police Force.
Speaking to the media by phone from Mbarara, the chairperson of Buddo Junior School whose children died in the fire, Leo Kabumburi confirmed receiving 140 million shillings from government last month.
The parents have managed to get compensation for their children after a long, protracted court battle.
Though government compensated families of victims of the July 11, 2010 twin bomb blast at Kyadondo rugby club and lately the Namungoona petrol fire that killed 40 people, it had refused to compensate families of the Buddo school fire victims.
Leo Kabumburi said they originally had an out of court settlement with government of 300 million shillings.
Parents of the affected children sued government in court demanding for 137 million shillings in compensation for the death of each child.
In their suit, the parents accused the school authorities of leaving their children unattended too and the failure by government to take reasonable measures to protect their children from fire.
They demanded for exemplary punitive damages and cost of the suit; for the careless way the school and government executed their duties.
Out of frustration the parents whose case first went to court in November 2008 finally agreed to the out of court settlement to ease the burden of walking to court without their case being heard.
On October 10, 2011, government filed a proposal to pay out 287 million shillings to the affected families as an out of court settlement before Justice Faith Mwondha in Nakawa High court.
The chairperson Leo Kabumburi said he was happy that government had finally honoured its pledge but wished the balance would be paid sometime soon considering the time they had already spent walking to and from court.