Two school heads arrested over ghost pupils

Bukomansimbi Deputy RDC Mr Fred Kalema addresses pupils at Lwenkuba Primary School on March 24, 2023. PHOTO | GERTURUDE MUTYABA

What you need to know:

  • They include; Ms Rebecca Nakintu, the head teacher of Lwenkuba Primary School and Mr Samuel Kityo of Makoomi Primary School in Bukomansimbi District

Two head teachers in Bukomansimbi District are in police custody after reportedly registering ghost pupils in their schools.

They include; Ms Rebecca Nakintu, the head teacher of Lwenkuba Primary School and Mr Samuel Kityo of Makoomi Primary School.

According to the Bukomansimbi deputy resident district commissioner, Mr Fred Kalema, he acted on a tip off from some residents that the duo enroll ghost pupils in public schools with intent to defraud the government.

Mr Kalema said his preliminary investigations reveal that Ms Nakintu registered 462 pupils yet the school has a daily attendance of only 30 pupils, while Mr Kityo enrolled 580 pupils in his school yet upon doing a head count , they discovered that the school has only 108 pupils.

“The government sends in money to schools depending on the number of pupils enrolled, this means the head teachers have been stealing this money and they have to pay it back,” Mr Kalema said during an on spot inspection of the two schools on Friday.

While giving her defense, Ms Nakintu told the RDC that a large number of pupils did not report back this term, an explanation Mr Kalema rejected.

“If they did not return, why then did you have to put a chart on the notice board indicating that they all returned this term?, do you think I am stupid to believe your lies?,” Mr Kalema asked.

About the number of pupils in each class, Mr Kityo on his part, said he has 130 pupils in Primary One and was not aware of the number of pupils in other classes.

The RDC tasked Mr Kityo to invite the class teacher of Primary One who he said was not around.

Upon calling the Primary One class teacher Ms Lilian Ndagire on phone, she informed the RDC that she only has 12 pupils in the class.

Mr Kityo later revealed to the RDC that the district education officer, Mr Patrick Zziwa and Inspector of Schools, Mr Fred Mutebi asked them to write reports with inflated enrollment “to enable them get enough money to run the school”.

“Please, do not arrest me, let me tell you the truth, it's true we have few pupils in the school, but our bosses in  the education department are the ones who told us to write ghost pupils so that when the money comes, we share it with them,” he revealed.

 Mr Kalema was surprised to learn that Mr Mutebi had just inspected Lwenkuba Primary School, an indicator that they connive with the school heads to defraud the government.

“Mr Mutebi made a report to the chief administrative officer that the school has 462 pupils well knowing that they are only 30, we are going to investigate everyone behind this mess,” the RDC vowed.

In his defense, Mr Zziwa, said he was also surprised by the report given to him by Ms Nakintu.

He asked the RDC to give his team three days to investigate all public schools and later submit a report to him.

“It is not true that we are in connivance with the school heads, let everyone carry his/her own cross,” he said.