In a stern move by the Luwero Chief Administrative Officer, five head teachers find themselves at the center of an accountability crisis, directed to refund over 24 million Shillings allocated under the Universal Primary Education (UPE) program. The directive comes in the wake of their failure to account for funds disbursed during the third and fourth quarters of the 2022/23 financial year. These funds were intended for various purposes, including purchasing scholastic materials, facilitating co-curricular activities, and covering administrative costs.
The implicated head teachers hail from Kyampisi Primary School, where an unexplained 6.02 million Shillings remains unaccounted for; Kaswa Primary School, with 5.08 million Shillings unexplained; Kibanyi Primary School, under scrutiny for 5 million Shillings; Sambwe Orthodox Primary School, facing questions over 4.27 million Shillings; and Monde Roman Catholic Primary School, where 3.8 million Shillings lacks proper accountability.
Erukamu Wamala Kyoole, the Chairperson of Luwero District Public Accounts Committee, expressed disappointment over the head teachers’ failure to provide proper accountability during assessments by the internal auditor and the committee. It was revealed that some head teachers had disregarded UPE grant guidelines and the Public Finance Management Act in their expenditure of the allocated funds.
In response to the committee’s findings, the Chief Administrative Officer swiftly implemented disciplinary measures. The committee recommended the recovery of the misappropriated funds and suggested considering demotion for the implicated head teachers. Bernard Okello, Luwero District Human Resource Officer, confirmed that letters demanding the refund of the funds had been dispatched to the head teachers. Further disciplinary actions are pending, indicating the seriousness with which the district is approaching this matter.
Okello highlighted the district’s commitment to recovering the funds, stating, “Last week we instituted mechanisms to recover the money from the headteachers’ salaries. Even those that are retired, we shall stop their pension till they pay the money.” This stern stance emphasizes the district’s determination to enforce the proper utilization of allocated funds by head teachers, with repercussions extending even post-retirement.
Erastus Kibirango, the LC 5 Chairman of Luwero district, echoed these sentiments, emphasizing that the recovery measures aim to instill discipline among head teachers for responsible fund management. He warned that mismanagement could lead to the district reclaiming the funds, irrespective of retirement status.
This development comes on the heels of a similar incident last year when the District Public Accounts Committee recommended the recovery of 30 million Shillings from seven head teachers who also failed to account for UPE funds. The repeated instances of financial mismanagement underscore the need for strict measures to ensure accountability in the utilization of public funds allocated for education.