The Chief Administrative Officer of Luwero has instructed five headteachers to refund over sh24 million allocated under the Universal Primary Education (UPE) program. The decision comes in the wake of the failure of these headteachers to provide proper accountability for the funds disbursed during the third and fourth quarters of the 2022/23 financial year. The funds were designated for purchasing scholastic materials, facilitating co-curricular activities, and covering administrative costs, among other purposes.
The implicated headteachers hail 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).
According to Erukamu Wamala Kyoole, the Chairperson of Luwero District Public Accounts Committee, the headteachers failed to provide satisfactory explanations for the funds during assessments conducted by the internal auditor and the committee. Allegedly, some headteachers deviated from UPE grant guidelines and violated the Public Finance Management Act in their expenditure of the allocated funds.
Consequently, the committee has recommended that the Chief Administrative Officer recover the funds and consider demoting the headteachers. Bernard Okello, Luwero District Human Resource Officer, confirmed the issuance of letters to the headteachers, demanding the refund of the funds, with the possibility of additional disciplinary actions.
Okello stated, “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.” Erastus Kibirango, the LC 5 Chairman of Luwero district, emphasized that this recovery aims to enforce proper utilization of allocated funds by headteachers. He highlighted that mismanagement could lead to the district reclaiming the funds, even post-retirement.
Notably, 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.