BY STEVEN MASIGA
Greetings Hon. Minister of state for Higher Education.
Thank you for serving Uganda.
Recently, I read news via some online platforms about Mbale School for the Deaf where you made various comments; I pray you were not misquoted.
I am writing this in line with Art 29(1) (a) of Uganda’s constitution and as a former Chairman Board of Governors of the mentioned school.
Let me clarify a few things.
Mbale School for the Deaf has many mafias who are on standby to eat money meant for the vulnerable kids.
At a peripheral level, you recall the letters I wrote to you to take action on mismanagement at the school.
I recall you deployed ministry auditors who came up with strong recommendations including transfer of the head teacher and recovery of funds.
Mbale district local government also did an investigation and submitted a report with strong recommendations.
Unfortunately, despite being a foundation body, this report has never been acted on because money is thrown here and there to frustrate activation of such audit reports.
When I assumed duties as board chairman, I suspected some financial mismanagement in the school.
On my prompting, the then Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Education, Alex Kakooza ordered for an audit enquiry which revealed that there was financial mismanagement by the head teacher Rose Nelima of up to shs50m.
The war began from here.
The audit report had strongly recommended her transfer and well meaning persons like the Commissioner in charge of special needs at the Ministry of Education, Sarah Bugoosi, pushed for activation of all provisions in the report.
And recently, the current PS at the Ministry of Education Ketty Lamaro deployed Dismus Wandulu to replace Nelima as the school’s new head teacher in fulfillment of those recommendations.
It is therefore improper to blame the commissioner for special needs for pushing for activation of the report which recommended many action points and many people had been hired to block.
When the Speaker of Parliament was briefed by Hon. Peter Ogwang on how the school’s issues are being resolved, another team wrote to the Equal Opportunities Commission to block the transfers by the permanent secretary.
Mbale CAO was about to be arrested on Friday, 1st September, because he had welcomed the new head teacher and also written to the school bank to halt any financial transaction until a new head teacher has assumed office.
Therefore issues at the Mbale School of the Deaf are partly due to failure to follow all the provisions of the law.
Parliament should therefore not be seen as a scarecrow which intimidates those who appear before them but should give those who appear before them the opportune time to explain them or update parliament.
In the face of many calamities befalling schools, it is right and proper that Mbale School of the Deaf issue be given candid attention instead of blame games.
Go back to Hon.Ogwang recommendations to the Speaker of Parliament which contained a series of action points on how to resolve the impasse in the school.
When I was growing up, we were told that transfers in public service were obligatory and thus should be obeyed.
The reports both by Mbale DLG and the Education Ministry recommended strong punitive measures for misuse of public funds contrary to sec.2 of the anti corruption Act 2009.
The audit reports also questioned running a deaf founded school like any other normal school, contrary to sec 6(2) of the disability Act 2023.
At the school, some teachers are not on the payroll and others have taken about two years without pay.
I know nobody cares about this because the money meant for them has been injected into media platforms to paint a different picture on ground.
An Askari who is demanding 16 month salary arrears is at Mulago hospital battling prostate cancer and about to die.
Children are being tortured in the school contrary to Art 24, since they don’t talk, who cares.
Workers who were sacked some time back died without receiving their pay. There is also the mysterious death of a deaf child and parents were devastated, but who cares.
Communities have been well paid to strike in favour of scandalous head teacher Nelima and letters have been written and signed by those orchestrating all this impunity.
One of them died by poison he drunk by himself. I had warned him about sharing money meant for the deaf.
Recently a deaf teacher attempted to kill herself in the school because of frustration.
Recently, one of the national leaders of the Deaf Association prayed via WhatsApp wishing that all those eating money for deaf children should produce children with disabilities. I cautioned him not to pray like Munyole.
The writer is a researcher from Mbale and former board chairman of Mbale School for the Deaf. Tel: 0706655811. DEAR READER, DO YOU HAVE A HOT STORY YOU WOULD LIKE US TO PUBLISH…
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