The school advised Ms Rovinah Atuheire to report the case of her missing son to police so that they could officially begin the search.
On October 27, 2016, Ms Atuheire reported a case at Ntungamo Police Station. Her son, Blessing Arinda Taremwa, had gone missing from school and efforts to find him were futile.
Mr Arinda, a Senior Two student at Ntungamo High School in Ntungamo Town, had gone missing from for more than 10 days when the case was reported. While the school authorities had assumed he had gone home, his parent thought he was at school.
Mr Wilson Byamukama, the school headmaster, says prior to Taremwa’s disappearance, he had been reportedly staying in the dormitory for a week without attending classes and hiding from teachers.
“He was fond of going home and returning to school every time he wanted. Even when he went missing we thought he had gone home. It was not until we sent the deputy headmaster and the boarding teacher to his home that we discovered he was missing,” Mr Byamukama told Daily Monitor.
Ms Atuheire says her son went missing from school on October 15, 2016, but she only got to know of his disappearance on October 26.
“I learnt of the tragedy that befell my family through a day scholar. I found him sheltering from rain at my home. Asking whether he knew Taremwa Blessing, he told me that Taremwa had gone missing from school for almost two weeks,” Ms Atuheire wrote in a letter to Daily Monitor in October this year.
She says it was only after her intervention and several calls to the school administrators that they commenced investigation.
“What they did was to give me money to put up announcements over the radio. I kept asking myself why the school does not want to pin itself by reporting the case to police or announce over the radio,” she questions.
Ms Atuheire says her own investigation indicate that her boy escaped from school after a teacher threatened to beat him for missing class often, and that after sending him for a stick, he never returned.
But Mr Byamukama says the boy could have never run away from school because of that since the school administration had decided not to even punish him over his errant behaviour.
He says contrary to some claims, it was the school that initiated the search for the missing boy and even visited the parents’ home to find out whether the boy was at home.
Ms Atuheire also accuses police of mismanaging the case.
But Mr Godes Twinamatsiko, the officer in charge of criminal investigations in Ntungamo District, says police have done enough to look for the child but there are so many issues that must be corroborated.
“We have information the child has been seen multiple times in town here but we wonder why he has never returned home,” Mr, Twinamatsiko told Daily monitor.
The police say Taremwa has been seen three times near his home, at least once near the school, and twice in Ntungamo town. This information is also corroborated by the school and Ms Atuheire.
Mr Byamukama says at least a week after he had been reported missing to police, Taremwa was seen at the school playground coming from the direction of his home. Students informed the administration who called his parents, but the boy still escaped.