Zombo: Headteacher Thrown Out of School Over Alleged Corruption, Mismanagement of UPE Funds

The office of the headteacher Padea Primary school was locked up at around 8:00 am on September 18, 2023. PHOTO/ MIKE RWOTHOMIO

By Mike Rwothomio and  Ofoymungu Lee

West Nile: Hundreds of pupils who turned up for studies at Padea Primary School in Padea Town Council, Zombo District were left stranded as Irate Parents threw out the school headteacher on allegations of corruption.

The unfoldings took place in the wee hours of September 18, 2023, in a meeting organised by parents, stakeholders, political leaders and a few teachers present at the school.

After the meeting, angry parents pinned Plackards with strong protest messages on the wooden school gate expressing their dissatisfaction with the school headteacher, with some of the Plack cards reading; ‘We want our children to get a better education for their future’, and ‘We don’t want corrupt leaders in Padea’, amongst other messages. These later locked the headteacher’s office with 3 brown padlocks.

Parents pinned some Plack cards with strong protest messages against the school headteacher and his deputy on September 18, as the school reopens. PHOTO/MIKE RWOTHOMIO

Orwinyu Vincent a parent and chairperson of older persons in Padea Town Council accused the headteacher of failing to account for school funds and requested the district authorities to help them and transfer him to another place.

“As elders, we can’t just sit and watch as our school goes down, he doesn’t give accountability and is very incompetent, we don’t want him here in Padea,” Orwinyu said.

The female Youth Councillor for Ndindu Ward Fathuma Ubima accused the headteacher of failing to issue receipts for payment made raising eyebrows about accountability.
“They used to give us receipts for each payment made but lately, the school doesn’t give us receipts, what sort of administration is this,” Fathuma wondered.

Innocent Okello, a parent who said he once served in the school leadership expressed concerns over how the school compound is being maintained. He accused the school headteacher and his deputy of failing to keep the school clean which he believes is one of the most basic things.

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The Chairperson Parents Teachers Association (PTA) of the School said the headteacher and his deputy sideline them from all activities of the school.

Fathuma Ubima, The female District Councillor for Ndindu Ward is against the practice of lack of transparency in the school. PHOTO/MIKE RWOTHOMIO

The Accused School Headteacher Breaks Silence

The accused headteacher, Walter Onim who has been at the helm of the school leadership for only one year refuted some of the allegations and appealed for parents to open the offices such that teachers can resume lessons as the inquiry into the matter continues.
“As we find a possible solution to the problem here, I plead that we open the office for teachers to continue teaching, we need to allow pupils to learn my dear parents,” Onim Said.

Local Leaders Speaks 

The District councillor of Padea Town Council Douglas Rupiny condemned the act and prayed for the district education committee to find a solution.
“We have already lost one day and yet this is the third term, we can’t spoil the future of our children. We need teachers here tomorrow to resume lessons.”

The LC3 chairperson of Padea Town Council Melki Onyutha Orwothuwun told this Publication that the final resolution of the meeting that mustered hundreds of parents at the school was that the headteacher and his deputy step aside as investigations continue.

He further told this publication that it was resolved the Headteacher and his deputy be transferred from the school.
“It was resolved that the headteacher and his deputy must step aside from office duties with immediate effect. A forensic audit be caused and a possible refund if found guilty. The
headteacher be transferred away with immediate effect and Teaching or learning resume with immediate effect,” Onyutha said.

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Pupils of P.1 sit next to their classroom block at Padea Primary School after school normal activities were interrupted. PHOTO/MIKE RWOTHOMIO

The behaviours of parents have been condemned by the District Education Officer Nickolas Odeba.

Padea Primary School is a public school. It’s just a stone’s throw from the Democratic Republic of Congo and the only primary school in the new town council.

The school which was established in 1973 currently has a total enrollment of 1700 learners. It attracts learners as far as the neighbouring Abanga Sub County, Jangokoro and Some parts of DR Congo.

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