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Headteacher Accused of Embezzling UPE Funds in Kitgum

The Chairperson of the School Management Committee Samuel Ochola alleges that the school headteacher Patrick Omal reportedly forged his signature and that of the treasurer to withdraw the said funds in two separate transactions from the school bank account.

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The headteacher of Deite Primary School in Namukora Sub County, Kitgum district has been accused of embezzling 1.7 million Shillings meant for capitation grants under the Universal Primary Education -UPE programme.

The Chairperson of the School Management Committee Samuel Ochola alleges that the school headteacher Patrick Omal reportedly forged his signature and that of the treasurer to withdraw the said funds in two separate transactions from the school bank account.

It’s reported that in November last year, the accused implored members of the school Management Committee to sign a cheque of 250,000 Shillings meant for slashing the school compound. But it was later ascertained that he instead withdrew 1.4 million Shillings from the school account. In addition to this, Omal withdrew 300,000 Shillings to allegedly facilitate a planning meeting ahead of the school reopening without seeking approval of the signatories.

According to Ochola, they only realized the dubious dealings after requesting for a bank statement. Ochola says that the headteacher has continually failed to heed their demand for accountability or refund of the said money.

//Cue in; “inino dwe…

Cue out…ma pe tiyo.”//

The government provides 7000 Shillings per pupil annually as a capitation grant to all schools implementing the UPE program. the money is mainly meant to facilitate the daily operations of schools and aid the procurement of books, scholastic materials, furniture and other necessities. Ochola says that the conduct of the headteacher has affected the day-to-day operations of the school.

The accused, Patrick Omal never refuted the accusations against him but says the matter has already been resolved and part of the funds have been refunded while some that have been utilized for the intended purpose are already accounted for.

//Cue in; “but of course…

Cue out…not available.”//

The area councillor representing Namukora Sub County Kenneth Nyero Nyokcek says on numerous occasions parents have demanded an audit into the alleged mismanagement of UPE and PTA funds to no avail. Nyokcek says numerous complaints have also been lodged before the District Executive Committee, the office of the Chief Administrator and the District Education Officer about the matter.

//Cue in; “lok eni acwalo…

Cue out...the local community.”//

The Kitgum Chief Administrative Officer Martin Jacan Gwoktoo confirmed the claims but added that the district has tightened the monitoring systems on how the funds are used.

//Cue in; “there has been…

Cue out…..with integrity.”//

Jacan however says investigations against the implicated head teachers are ongoing and any accounting officer who will be found culpable of exhibiting the vice shall be subjected to disciplinary and appropriate action.