Ismael Walujo Mukankadi, the Chairperson of Sunni Muslim Jamait Ltd told Uganda Radio Network that they have since written to Mbale city authorities their intention to withdraw the school from government aid.
The founders of Umar and
Yumbe Memorial primary school in Mbale City have resolved to withdraw
it from the government-aided schools. Started by the Muslim community over 50
years ago, the government took over Umar and Yumbe Memorial primary school in 1985.
The school sits on over 2 acres of land. It comprises
a pitch, mosque, four classroom blocks, and 1
latrine block. There were 250 pupils by the time of school closure by the
government to contain the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. The school has been receiving
capitation grants and teachers fully paid by the government.
However, Sunni Muslim
Jamait Limited, the founders of the school, say they want to repossess the school
because government’s failure to fulfill the reasons for its establishment. Ismael
Walujo Mukankadi, the Chairperson of Sunni Muslim Jamait Ltd told Uganda Radio Network that they have since written to Mbale city
authorities their intention to
withdraw the school from government aid.
//Cue in: “Etaka tulyagala....
Cue out:.....ba ja kuja basome,”//
Musa Ssendgala Abdallah, the School Management
Committee chairperson, says that they
want the government to hand over the
management of the school to
Muslims to enable them to balance between theological and secular studies.
//cue in: “Abantu olwafunye amawulire…
Cue out:…e'diini no'luzungu,”//
Abdul Shafi Kale, a Member of the founding family, says that they want to run the school
as a private entity because of the government’s failure to comply with
the main objective
of its founding to teach both theology and secular studies.
//Cue in: “Toyinza genda mu p7 omwo....
Cue out:... libele nga lya mutindo,"//
The planned withdrawal of the school
from government aid has not gone
without criticism from the city residents with many accusing those behind the
move of harboring selfish interests with the aim
of selling the school land.
Karim Murami, who served for 10 years as the school Deputy Headteacher, says that the issue of retracting the school from government
support started way back in 2010 when the then of the mosque and
other people wanted to change the land title of the school land to an individual’s name.
He says that the motive of withdrawing
the school from the government is to make it easy for the family and the developers
to sell the land.
//Cue in: “2010 they wanted to....
Cue out: ...then they
Aisha Samaali, who served as Headteacher of the school in 2007 termed the city
developers as thieves who want to grab the land for selfish interests. She says that the family of Seeka Kaali has
for many years connived with property developers in an attempt to sell the school land.
//Cue in: “They have no reason…
Cue out:…let them
Charles Wakhata, the Kaale Cell LC I chairperson, says that there is a plan
by the children of the late Kale to evict the school and sell off the land to pave way for the construction of a pump fuel
station. He also confirmed the presence of unknown people running
activities at the school without his consent as the area local leader.
//Cue in: “E'kifo kili awo....
Cue out:.... it's a good venture”//
Muhamad Mugoya, the Mbale City Council Inspector
of Schools acknowledged
receipt of a letter asking them to remove the school structures on the land. He, however, says that another team of
Kaale’s family has since disowned the letter, which has triggered confusion.
He says that they are
now waiting for the two parties to decide what they want.
Kirinya Ayubu is the URN Bureau Chief of Elgon/Bukedi Sub Regions . He holds a Bachelors Degree in Mass Communication from Islamic University in Uganda and a Diploma in Computer Science and Information Technology from the same University.