February 27, 2024

Five headteachers ordered to refund UPE Funds

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Luwero Chief Administrative Officer has directed five head teachers to refund over sh24 million allocated under the Universal Primary Education (UPE) program. It follows the failure of the affected teachers to account for the funds disbursed under the third and fourth quarters of the 2022/23 financial year for purchasing scholastic materials, facilitating co-curricular activities, and administrative costs among other purposes.

The implicated head teachers are from Kyampisi Primary School (unaccounted for 6.02 million Shillings), Kaswa Primary School (5.08 million Shillings), Kibanyi Primary School (5 million Shillings), Sambwe Orthodox Primary School (4.27 million Shillings), and Monde Roman Catholic Primary School (3.8 million Shillings).

Erukamu Wamala Kyoole, the Chairperson of Luwero District Public Accounts Committee, says that the head teachers failed to provide proper accountability for the funds during their assessments by the internal auditor and the committee. Some head teachers reportedly disregarded UPE grant guidelines and the Public Finance Management Act in their expenditure of the allocated funds.

Consequently, the committee recommended that the Chief Administrative Officer recover the funds and consider demoting the headteachers. Bernard Okello, Luwero District Human Resource Officer, confirmed that letters have been sent to the headteachers, demanding the refund of the funds, with further disciplinary actions pending.

“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,’’ Okello said. Erastus Kibirango, the LC 5 Chairman of Luwero district, emphasized that this recovery aims to enforce proper utilization of allocated funds by headteachers.

He underlined that mismanagement will result in the district reclaiming the funds, even post-retirement.

Last year, the District Public Accounts Committee recommended the recovery of 30 million Shillings from seven headteachers who also failed to account for UPE funds.

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