Founders: Indian Association Uganda Has No Stake in Hill Road Public School

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In short
In a telephone interview from United States of America, Dr. Ansu, who studied from Hill Road Public school, says the Indian Association has no stake in the school

Founders of Hill Road Public school have spoken out against the allocation of the school to the Indian Association of Uganda describing them as imposters.
The school was founded by the family of Ambalal Patel in the 1954 to provide education for children of both Indian nationals who lived in Uganda and general public in Masaka.
Hill Road Public School is at the center of a bitter ownership dispute between Masaka Municipality and Indian Association of Uganda. Early this year, Indian Association of Uganda handed Masaka Municipality notice to relocate over 2000 pupils elsewhere because they were repossessing it. 
In July this year, the Indian Association of Uganda announced they would take over the school and demolish it to establish a hotel.
Rajin Taylor, the Chairperson of Indian Association of Uganda, who is the lead claimant of the school claims it belonged to them before Idi Amin, the former president of Uganda expelled them.
He claimed that he had presented ownership documents to Uganda Lands Commission and Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development that signed them and authorized the repossession.
But in August this year, David Migereko, the Minister of Lands, Housing and Urban Development denied ever authorizing the repossession and eventual allocation of Hill Road Public School.
In his 25th August  letter to Masaka District administration, Masaka district land board and Masaka Municipality, Migereko explained that government could not in any way give out Hill Road Public School because it is regarded as a model school under Universal Primary school.
Migereko also summoned the leadership of Indian association of Uganda to explain circumstances under which they secured the repossession and allocation documents.
Now, the founders of Hill Road Public School have spoken out. Dr. Dr Ansu Shah, the daughter of Ambalal Patel, the founder of the school says they are surprised by claims by Indian Association of Uganda over the school.
In a telephone interview from United States of America, Dr. Ansu, who studied from Hill Road Public school, says the Indian Association has no stake in the school.  She says her late father founded the school to help the community of Masaka and before he died, he surrendered the school to Masaka Municipality.
Dr. Ansu therefore says Indian Association of Uganda does not feature on their documents concerning ownership. She explained in lengthy telephone interview that she is mobilizing relatives and friends who studied from Hill Road Public School to come to Uganda and fight against the Indian takeover of the school.
She says she has talked to a number of them in USA and UK who have pledged to come to Uganda in January 2015 specifically for this cause.
When contacted to react to Dr. Ansu's claims, Rajin Taylor, one of the lead claimants said he would not comment saying he has taken the issues to President Yoweri Museveni. He declined to speak about whether he has any relationship with Dr. Ansu.
Godfrey Kayemba, the Masaka Mayor told Uganda Radio Network that after getting a green light from both Lands Ministry and Education Ministry, they plan to put up three flat classroom block. He says with the increasing population, the school is running out of space.
According to Kayemba, they suspect that the Indian Association of Uganda was conniving with mafias to grab the school.
In 2004, Dr. Ansu renovated the school in memory of her father Ambalal, Ishwerbhal Patel.


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.