Wobulenzi Public Primary School in Luweero district is at risk of sale because of failure to service a loan that was marred by irregularities, the LC V chairperson, Erastus Kibirango has revealed. Two weeks ago, Equity Bank announced the takeover of the public primary school over a debt.
In 2019, Richard Mukasa, the former headteacher of Wobulenzi Public Primary School acquired a loan of Shillings 100 million from Equity Bank after mortgaging the school title. He used the money from the loan to buy a nearby house to host teachers. The school, which has 2,300 pupils and operates under the Universal Primary Education is the largest in the district.
The loan repayment period has elapsed. However, the school administration owes the bank Shillings 65 million as well as penalties. Kibirango says that a review of the loan documents indicates that the Education office and Chief Administration Officer approved the loan yet this was supposed to be done by the Ministry of Education and Sports.
He explained that they are exploring solutions to service the loan rather than blaming all those involved since the money was used to buy a building for teachers. Kibirango blamed the delayed loan repayment on conflicts between the old and new school management led by the incumbent, headteacher Micheal Kintu, which the technical team failed to handle.
According to Kibirango, he has summoned the technical team for a meeting on Thursday to find ways to service the loan and prevent the school from being sold off by the bank.
Richard Bwabye, the Luwero District Resident District Commissioner also wondered how the district allowed the school to keep the land titles and mortgage them twice without following the procedures. Bwabye wants the district to take Equity Bank to court for illegally retaining the titles for a government school after fraudulently extending a loan facility without following the right procedures.
The Luwero District Chief Administrative Officer, Innocent Asaba, and District Education Officer Florence Bbosa declined to comment on the matter despite repeated requests. According to the available documents, the school received Shillings 100 million shillings as a loan in February 2019 but the bank recovered Shillings 43 million because of delayed utilization of the money.
The district officials and the new school headteacher have since piled pressure on the former headteacher Richard Mukasa to service the loan as an individual after accusing him of obtaining it without following the procedures as well as mismanaging it.
Mukasa has paid Shillings 32 million as an individual since the year began. Barbara Among, the Communication Manager of Equity Bank, said the bank is legally exercising its right to sell the property to recover depositors’ funds since the school defaulted on its loan a long time ago. Wobulenzi Public Primary was set up by Indians before their expulsion by President Idi Amin.
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