Head teacher arrested over UPE funds

BUHWEJU. The headteacher of Kazirwa Primary School in Bisya Sub-county, Buhweju District and two other school officials have been arrested for allegedly embezzling more than Shs2m Universal Primary Education (UPE) funds.
The Buhweju Resident District Commissioner (RDC), Mr Emmy Kateera, caused the arrest of Mr Asaph Natumanya, Mr Veleriano Ahisibwe, the chairperson school management Committee and the treasurer, Mr Sevelirino Bagumira, last Thursday.

Mr Kateera said Natumanya failed to provide records of school finances and accountability of how UPE funds were budgeted for and spent during the past three terms.
Mr Natumanya reportedly told the RDC that when he went to the school last week, he found his drawer had been broken into.

But when Mr Turyabagyenyi asked the teachers whom he found in conversation with their headteacher under a tree shade if he had reported theft of school files, they answered in chorus ‘no’.
Mr Kateera added that according to intelligence reports, the school used to have enrollment of 380 pupils but the number later dropped to 137.

However, the school administration and management continued receiving Shs800,000 for 380 pupils which was being shared among the three suspects every term.

“According to financial regulations governing UPE funds, the headteacher is supposed to draft a budget, present it to the school management committee for discussion, amendment and approval, which was not done for the case of Kazirwa Primary School,” Mr Kateera said.
He appealed to all sub-county chiefs and their accountants to ensure they make regular audit in all government aided schools to check on how government resources are being utilised to avert embezzlement.