Head Teachers in Kitgum Fail to Account for UGX 21M COVID-19 Funds

Each school received 1.5 Million Shillings for the procurement of hand sanitizers, hand washing equipment, thermometers, soap and detergents amidst other basic requirements.
A notice indicating COVID SOPs pinned at Headteachers Office at Lagot P7 school in Kitgum district Photo By Dan M Komakech (3)

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Fourteen primary school headteachers in Kitgum District are on spot for failing to account for over 21 Million Shillings COVID-19 funds disbursed by the government to their respective learning institutions.  

The Kitgum District Education Officer Fred Owot says that the headteachers received the funds in October last year, but have since failed to give any accountability for the funds allocated to their schools. He explains that the funds were part of 136.5 Million Shillings advanced to the district last year mainly meant to facilitate schools to adhere to the covid-19 standard operating procedures when schools resumed for candidate classes.

Each school received 1.5 million shillings for the procurement of hand sanitisers, hand washing equipment, thermometers, soap and detergents amidst other basic requirements.

Owot says despite having issued letters of reminders to the affected school administrators to account for the funds, the implicated headteachers have since remained adamant. He adds that their names have already been submitted to the Chief executive for appropriate action.

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The Kitgum District Chief Administrative Officer Martin Jacan Gwokto says the deliberate failure to account for how the COVID-19 funds were utilized raises suspicions that the headteachers could have diverted the money for personal use.

Gwokto says the implicated headteachers are violating the financial and accounting regulations, and the delayed accountability renders the district at risk of being blacklisted from receiving future funding from the government.  

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Jacan says the district was considering withholding Universal Primary Education (UPE) grants releases to the affected school as a means of compelling the school heads to submit their accountabilities however the move was abandoned for fear that it would affect the operations of schools that reopen next week. 

Mathias Agee the headteacher Bola Primary School when contacted on the matter declined to speak to our reporter saying he is not entitled to talk to the press.  

Patrick Omal the headteacher of Deite P7 one of the affected schools in Namukora Sub County says he doesn’t know how his school was blacklisted despite submitting his accountability.

The Kitgum Resident District Commissioner William Komakech says the affected headteachers have now been given up to Friday next week to account for the funds.

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