Wobulenzi Public Primary School in Luweero district faces the imminent risk of being sold due to its inability to service a loan marked by irregularities, as disclosed by the LC V chairperson, Erastus Kibirango. Equity Bank recently declared its intention to take over the public primary school due to outstanding debt issues.
In 2019, the former headteacher of Wobulenzi Public Primary School, Richard Mukasa, secured a loan of Shillings 100 million from Equity Bank by mortgaging the school title. Mukasa utilized the loan to purchase a nearby house to accommodate teachers. The school, the largest in the district with 2,300 pupils operating under Universal Primary Education, now finds itself in a precarious situation.
Although the loan repayment period has lapsed, the school administration still owes the bank Shillings 65 million along with associated penalties. Kibirango revealed that a scrutiny of the loan documents indicated irregular approval by the Education office and Chief Administration Officer, tasks that should have been handled by the Ministry of Education and Sports.
Efforts are underway to address the loan repayment issue, with Kibirango emphasizing the need to explore solutions rather than placing blame, given that the funds were used to purchase a building for teachers. He attributed the delayed loan repayment to conflicts between the old and new school management, headed by the incumbent headteacher, Micheal Kintu, a situation the technical team failed to resolve.
In response, Kibirango has called for a meeting with the technical team on Thursday to devise strategies to service the loan and prevent the school from being seized by the bank. Richard Bwabye, the Luwero District Resident District Commissioner, expressed concern over the district allowing the school to retain land titles and mortgage them twice without following proper procedures. Bwabye advocates for legal action against Equity Bank for unlawfully holding titles for a government school, extending a loan without proper procedures.
The Chief Administrative Officer, Innocent Asaba, and District Education Officer Florence Bbosa declined to comment on the matter. Records indicate that the school received Shillings 100 million as a loan in February 2019, with the bank recovering Shillings 43 million due to delayed fund utilization.
District officials and the new headteacher have pressured former headteacher Richard Mukasa to personally settle the loan, accusing him of obtaining it without following proper procedures and mismanaging it. Mukasa has paid Shillings 32 million individually since the beginning of the year. Barbara Among, the Communication Manager of Equity Bank, asserts the bank’s legal right to sell the property to recover depositors’ funds, citing the school’s long-standing default on the loan. Wobulenzi Public Primary School, originally established by Indians before their expulsion by President Idi Amin, now faces an uncertain future.