The fate of a government-funded primary school in Fort Portal has attracted the attention of President Yoweri Museveni. Bernard Tumwesigire, Executive Secretary of the Custodian Board, says the President has ordered the investigation of the planned sale of Buhinga Primary School.
Buhinga Primary School is one of the oldest schools in the Rwenzori Region. The Indian community living in Fort Portal at the time built it in 1957. When President Idi Amin expelled all Indians, it was taken over by the government.
In 2003, a businessman called Franco Tumusiime announced that he had purchased the land on which the school's staff houses are located from the Custodian Board. He ordered the teachers to leave immediately.
Since then the wrangle over the land has persisted, drawing in Kabarole district officials, the Ministry of Finance, and now, President Museveni.
Bernard Tumwesigire says the President has asked him to investigate how Franco Tumusiime purchased the land. He says there are documents that show the businessman only paid 6.5 million shillings for the property valued at 18 million shillings.
Tumwesigire says that until the facts of the case are established Buhinga Primary School is safe.
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John Byamukama, the head teacher Buhinga Primary School, the President's intervention is a good, but temporary assurance to his staff and students. He says another section of the land in which the school playground and staff quarters are located are also under dispute.
A Muslim community located next to the school claims to own the property and has demanded that the school leave in order for the property to be redeveloped.
buhinga primary school