P.7 leaver burns self to death

A stock image of a police crime scene.Milan Markovic/Getty Images

A 16-year-old who recently completed Primary Seven and reportedly took his own life by setting himself on fire last Friday was suffering from depression, according to health workers at Kiruddu National Referral Hospital.

Abdurahim Rusiba, residing in Kitende Sisa, Wakiso District, ignited himself using petrol. Dr. Edris Kalanzi, the head of burns and reconstructive surgery at Kiruddu hospital, disclosed that at the time of his arrival at the hospital, 90 percent of the deceased’s skin surface area had been damaged by the fire.

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Dr. Kalanzi emphasized that the underlying issue was a mental health concern, which had been diagnosed and addressed. The patient, before passing away, expressed feelings of not being loved.

“He was brought to the hospital on Friday night, severely burnt, and he passed away the following day around 9 am. I think the major issue was the underlying mental health issue, which had both been diagnosed and addressed,” Dr. Kalanzi stated.

The doctors found that the entire body was burnt beyond recognition, with only a small part of his face surviving. The deceased, when questioned about his suicide attempt, cited a lack of love, mentioning that only his brother loved him.

Reports initially suggested that the suicide might have been triggered by disappointment in the results of the 2023 Primary Leaving Examinations (PLE), where the deceased allegedly did not achieve the expected Aggregate 4.

However, an audio recording from the deceased’s aunt, circulating on social media, suggested that the incident occurred when the parents were away at work. Neighbors discovered smoke billowing from a bathroom outside the family house and attempted to save him, albeit too late.

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The father, Mr. Musa Waligo, indicated that his son had previously mentioned thoughts of suicide due to feeling unloved by peers who mocked his speech impairment. He refuted claims about poor exam results being the cause, asserting that he had not received information about the PLE results by the time of his son’s death. On the tragic day, the son carried out his usual chores and later, without parental presence, bought petrol, went to the outside bathroom, and set himself on fire, with neighbors rushing him to the hospital.

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