Frustrated Masaka Students Loot School Library

3032 Views Masaka, Uganda

In short
Police have closed down Masaka High School hours after angry students who missed UNEB exams broke into the school library and looted books worth millions of shillings.

Police have closed down Masaka High School hours after angry students who missed UNEB exams broke into the school library and looted books worth millions of shillings.

The school administrators including the head teacher, Samuel Kayemba, school bursar Teddy Naggayi and Florence Jjemba, the Director of Studies have fled from the school for dear lives.

15 students of Masaka High School in Kyabakuza along Masaka-Mbarara Highway were on Monday morning blocked from sitting their exams on grounds that they were not registered with UNEB.

Some of the students whose names were missing from the register are Huzairu Kayiwa, Josephine Nanduga, Mase Namukasa, Allen Namanda and Rosemary Namukasa, among others.

The students claim they paid 1.5 million shilling to Samuel Kayemba, the headmaster and demanded to know why they were being blocked from sitting their papers.
Denis Awilo, the UNEB Chief Invigilator deployed at the school says he turned away the 15 students because they were not eligible to sit the exams. He explains that their names were missing on the final UNEB computer list.

Awilo says the students appear to have been robbed by their head teachers who have since fled.

// Cue in: “The computer registers…..”
Cue out: “….nowhere to be seen.”//

The decision to block the students from sitting for their examinations did not go down well with them. They went on rampage, broke into the school library and looted almost all the text books and computers from the headmaster’s office.

The students also broke into the bursar’s house and looted two mattresses before police stopped them from looting and destroying the school property.

Hanifa Namuwonge, one of the affected students was found looting a computer and a wall clock. Namuwonge told URN that she was disappointed by the theft of her 130,000 shillings by the school. She claims that she paid 90000 shillings as registration fees for UNEB and another 40,000 shillings for practical papers.

With tears flowing down her cheeks, Namuwonge said she decided to take the computer and wall clock to sell them to get some money for fees next year in another school.

Peter Muwonge, another affected candidate says the decision to stop him from sitting exams means his future has ended. He explains that he has been finding it difficult to get money for fees. He says he has been doing casual work of digging in people’s gardens to raise the 60,000 shillings to pay every term.

Muwonge says with the headmaster disappearing with their UNEB funds, he may not go ahead to study since he is not sure of raising money again.

Several other students who are not even candidates also looted the school property until police stopped them.

Simon Peter Wafana, the Southern Region Police commander says police has decided to close the school indefinitely. He says they deployed anti riot police to disperse the students to stop them from looting the school property.

According to Wafana, only 13 candidates who were allowed to sit their exams are allowed to stay at school while those affected have been ordered to return home. Wafana calls for calm as police hunts for Samuel Kayemba, the school head teacher to face fraud charges.

But Kayemba has told Uganda Radio Network on phone that he traveled to Kampala to sort out the mess.

Last week, police also arrested Joseph Ssebayiki, the Director of Regional College secondary school for allegedly misappropriating UNEB funds amounting to 2.5million shillings.


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.