A teacher of Dar-Es-Salaam Secondary School Matugga, Wakiso district, has set himself on fire. It is not yet clear why Noah Buyinza, a veteran Geography teacher hailing from Iganga district, decided to call time on his life and promising career but some of Buyinza’s friends that talked to pmldaily said the Kyambogo University graduate could have ended his life because of financial hardships brought about by the covid19 lockdown.
“He called me last week and told me he had food at home but did not have charcoal. He wanted me to get him Shs20,000 to buy charcoal. That was the last time we talked,” Godfrey Mutekanga said.
Mutekanga taught with Buyinza at King of Kings SS in Iganga. He said the deceased was an introvert who only spoke when he deemed it necessary and that when he called him asking for help, he (Mutekanga) knew it was a serious matter but could not help because he was in a similar situation.
Buyinza moved to Kampala last year to look for greener pastures. Before that, he taught at King of Kings SS, Victoria High School and Itanda SS, all in Iganga district.
“He taught me Geography and served as the director of studies at Victoria High School,” said Sadat Mabirizi, Buyinza’s former student.
Mabirizi, now a teacher at Iganga Progressive SS, said Buyinza joined his wife in Kampala after losing his job at Victoria High School. He wondered why the deceased decided to stay in Kampala throughout the lockdown instead of coming back to Iganga where his social circle was.
In a video clip circulating on social media, a witness is heard saying that Buyinza set himself on fire from his home and thereafter ran towards the road while trying to put off the fire. Buyinza was reportedly rushed to hospital but later succumbed to his wounds.
By press time, his body had been taken for postmortem as investigations into his death continue.
Buyinza is not the only teacher who has committed suicide during the lockdown period. In April, the body of Peter Kirya, a teacher at St Mary’s college Buwenge in Jinja district, was found hanging in his rented house. Residents said Kirya committed suicide because of lack of what to eat..
Most teachers in private schools have gone for over four months without pay and majority of them are distressed.