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Concerns Rise as Wobulenzi Public Primary School Faces Sale Over Unsettled Loan

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Wobulenzi Public Primary School in Luwero district is causing alarm among parents and community leaders as it faces the possibility of being sold due to an outstanding loan.

In 2019, the then-headteacher, Richard Mukasa, secured a loan of 100 million Shillings from Equity Bank, Luwero branch, with the approval of the office of Luwero Chief Administrative Officer. Mukasa used the government school’s land title as collateral to purchase a plot and construct staff houses. The school, with a student population of 2,300 under Universal Primary Education, holds the highest number of learners in the district.

However, the loan repayment period has lapsed, and the school administration has failed to clear 65 million shillings of the debt. Equity Bank has posted an announcement on the school gate declaring it as bank property after issuing a demand notice for the outstanding amount.

The headteacher, Micheal Kintu, attributes the disrupted loan repayment to the impact of COVID-19 and complaints of irregularities in the loan application and utilization by the former administration.

Kintu reveals that they have sought intervention from the Resident District Commissioner and Chief Administrator Officer to prevent the school’s takeover by the bank.

Moses Ssebalamu, the LCIII Chairperson of Wobulenzi town council, alleges fraudulent acquisition of the loan by the former headteacher and members of the School Management Committee. Ssebalamu claims that the loan was approved in October 2019, although it was acquired in February of the same year without proper authorization.

Ssebalamu also notes that only 20 million out of the 100 million shillings released to purchase the nearby plot can be accounted for, raising concerns about the whereabouts of the remaining funds.

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To address the situation, Luwero Resident District Commissioner Richard Bwabye held a crisis meeting with the Police and school administration. It was decided that the Police secure a court order compelling Equity Bank to surrender the land title for investigation purposes. Additionally, the Chief Administrative Officer is to seek a court order blocking the school’s sale.

Bwabye reveals that the State Attorney has advised forwarding the matter to the Anti-Corruption Court, where the headteacher and committee members could face charges of abuse of office.

Luwero District Woman Member of Parliament, Brenda Nabukenya, expressed surprise at the revelation that the school land title was used for a loan. Nabukenya urged the district to ensure that all implicated individuals face prosecution.

Former Chairperson of the School Management Committee, Amos Kalema, denies applying for the loan, claiming his signature was forged. The former headteacher, Richard Mukasa, was unavailable for comment on the matter.

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