A row has erupted between Masaka District Chairperson, Mr Jude Mbabaali and some Muslims in the area over a multi-billion World Bank secondary school grant for the district.
The disagreement stems from a letter Mr Mbabaali wrote to the Minister of Education and Sports, Ms Janet Museveni early this month, protesting the allocation of a Shs2.12 billion grant to Turbuk Senior Secondary School, a Muslim-founded government-aided school located in Mukungwe Sub-county.
He says that the money was intended to construct a new school not to support an existing one.
Mr Mbabaali says that in 2018, the government earmarked the money, which part of a donation from the World Bank to construct a secondary school in a sub-county which has no post-primary school.
Subsequently, the district executive committee and council resolved to have the school constructed in Bukakata Sub-county.
Mr Mbabaali, however, argues that although the district had submitted all the required paperwork including a title for a six-acre piece of land that was donated by Masaka Catholic Diocese, some officials at the Ministry of Education connived and swapped the project to benefit an existing private school in Mukungwe Sub-county.
He accused the officials of conniving with directors of Tarbuk Secondary School to fraudulently register the school to swindle part of the project money and asked the Inspector General of Government to institute an investigation into the fraud.
But the letter has stirred anger from the some Muslims by Sheikh Swaibuh Ndugga, the Greater Masaka Regional Khadi, who accuse Mr Mbabaali of conspiring to block their project.
Sheikh Ndugga says that the school administration processed the required paperwork and submitted it to the Ministry of Education to prove their eligibility to benefit from the project as the Muslim community in the area. He says that they were surprised to face resistance from Mr Mbabaali.
The Secretary General of the Greater Masaka Muslim Council Sheikh Ahmed Kayemba accused Mr Mbabali of side-lining Muslims.
But Mr Mbabaali denied harbouring bias against Muslims arguing that he is striving to ensure that the government policy of equitable distribution of public resources is not abused.
He said selfish moves of some Ministry of Education officials and the leadership of Turbuk Senior Secondary School
disenfranchise residents of Bukakata Sub-county who do not have a single public secondary school.