Government Denies Authorizing Repossession of Hill Road Public School Top story

2267 Views Masaka, Uganda

In short
In his august 25th letter, Migereko says government has never authorized the repossession of this school, which it regards a model Universal Primary Education School.

Government has distanced itself from a decision authorizing the Indian Association to reposes Hill Road Public School in Masaka municipality. In July this year, Masaka district land board chaired by Peter Ssekungu handed over Hill Road Public School to the Indian association. It came after the association reportedly petitioned the Lands, Housing and Urban Development ministry seeking to reposes the school, which they claim belonged to them before Asians were expelled from Uganda by the former president Iddi Amin.
 
Recently, it was reported that the Indian Association plans to demolish the school to pave way for the construction of a hotel. The decision by Masaka district land board to hand over the school to the Indian Association has drawn angry reactions from members of the public in Masaka municipality. Early last month, Masaka district officials led by Joseph Kalungi, the LC 5 Chairperson Mathias Mpuuga, the Municipality MP, Mayor Godfrey Kayemba Afaayo, Town clerk Joseph Kimbowa and the municipal education secretary Nankyanzi petitioned the lands and education ministry questioning the decision to hand over the school to the Indian association.

The officials were enraged that, the Lands, Housing and Urban Development Ministry didn’t consult them before the decision to hand over the school was made. But  David Migereko, the minister of Lands, Housing and Urban development has denined the involvement of his ministry in the transaction.  In his august 25th letter, Migereko says government has never authorized the reposesion of this school, which is regards as a model Universal Primary Education School.

Migereko has summoned Rajin Taylor, the Chairperson of the Indian Association of Uganda, who is the chief claimant of the school to his office over the purported repossession. The intervention of the minister has execited parents and Masaka residents as the third term opens. This morning, Uganda Radio Network found several excited parents returning their children toHill road public school. John Odongtho, a medical officer attached to Masaka central Police health unit has two children at Hill road public school.

He says that his eldest child is in primary six while the youngest is in primary one. Odongtho says the school management committee and Municipal authorities assured them in a general meeting on Sunday that government had cancelled the allocation of Hill Road. Odongtho says that he feels relieved following the government pronouncement on the school.

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Joseph Buyinza, a teacher at Hill Road Public School says the purported repossession of the school by the Indian Association had caused confusion with considering taking their children away. He however says they disregarded the reports and have started the term very well.

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Ahmad Ikhlas a Pakistan National is a primary seven pupil at Hill Road Public school. He says his father transferred him from Dawn Prime Academy in Iganga to Hill Road Public school last year because it is cheap and performs well. Ikhlas says when he and his parents heard about the purpoted repossession of the school they they felt bad and bitter at the same time.
 
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Josephine Nabulime is also a pupil at Hill Road Public school. Nabulime says when the second term ended they were told that the Indian Assocition was planning to demolish the school during holidays. She however says that she feels happy that when they returned for the third term, they found it intact. Sarah Nakyanzi, the Masaka municipal education secretary says the decision by the ministry to stop the association from reposesing the school is a milestone.

She says many parents had started looking for alternative schools to relocate their children adding that, they have started sensitizing them not to panic. Rajid Taylor, the Chairman, Indian Association of Uganda confirmed to Uganda Radio Network on phone that Minister Migereko had invited them over the matter. He however said they have all documents allowing them to reposes the school, which they are ready to table before the minister. Mathias Mpuuga, the Masaka Municipality MP has advised government to compensate the Indians instead of handing them a public school.

He argues that since government compensated city businessman Hassan Basajjabalaba for markets, why can’t  they compensate the Indians and save the school.

 

About the author

Edward Bindhe
Bindhe prides himself on being a part of the society he writes about. He believes there is no way a journalist can understand his society unless it considers him a part of it. This is why he is dedicated to investigating the challenges of the "little person."

Bindhe says, "My work reflects the Uganda Radio Network unique approach to news." Not many Ugandan journalists would consider or even notice the re-emergence of Water Hyacinth on a lake. Bindhe does.

Truant children will attract Bindhe's attention until he gets to the bottom of their truancy: poverty and the need to work to earn bread for their families. These are the kinds of stories Bindhe is often after.

Edward Bindhe is the Masaka URN bureau chief. Rakai, Lwengo, Lyantonde, Kalangala, Mpigi, Kalungu, Bukomansimbi and Sembabule districts fall under his docket. He has been a URN staff member since 2009.

A Mass Communication graduate from Uganda Christian University, Bindhe started practising journalism in 2008 as a reporter for Radio Buddu in Masaka district.