Months after the devastating Mahdia Secondary School Dormitory fire, three persons were sworn in as members of the Commission of Inquiry (CoI), tasked with conducting an investigation into the tragedy, which claimed the lives of 20 children.
Those sworn in on Thursday were Retired Military Chief of Staff, Major General Joe Singh, who will serve as Chairman of the Commission, Derrick John, the Chairman of the National Toshaos Council and Attorney-at- Law Dr Kim Kyte- Thomas.
Additionally, Attorney Javed Shadick will serve as the Secretary of the CoI.
At a ceremony which was held at the Office of the President in Georgetown, the Commissioners took their oath of office before Chief Magistrate (ag) Sherdel Isaacs- Marcus.
In an address, President Irfaan Ali said that the CoI into the deadly fire would represent a crucial step towards understanding and healing. He noted that it is intended to provide lessons to improve safety and ensure that such a tragedy doesn’t reoccur at any dormitory.
The President explained that the Terms of Reference (ToR) of the CoI were crafted to grant latitude for a comprehensive examination, lessons and strategies moving forward.
The Head of State added that two months was given for the conduction of the CoI but that can be extended.
On May 21, 19 girls and a five-year-old boy lost their lives in the fire that destroyed the dormitory. Several others were injured, with one 13-year-old girl still receiving care abroad.
Since then, a 15-year-old child has been charged with 20 counts of murder. And the government has already sought money from the National Assembly to provide “financial support” to the families of the fire victims.