KAMPALA, Uganda: On the 14th of July 2017, there was a students’ strike at Old Kampala Senior Secondary School where one student was shot in the leg and a number of students sustained injuries. The students purportedly were resisting the transfer of their Headteacher – Mrs. Aziida Ntegana Nsubuga, whom the Ministry of Education and Sports had transferred from the school and instead posted Mr. James Mulomi. This strike resulted in closure of the school for about 10 days.
After the strike, the Ministry of Education and Sports purportedly setup an investigations committee to investigate the strike. According to reports in the press (particularly in the Observer of July 24th and Bukedde Newspapers), the committee also included ASP Grace Nyangoma, who is the Officer in Charge (OC station) of Old Kampala Police Station.
Realising that some of the prime suspects in the planning and execution of the strike such as ASP Grace Nyangoma were now purportedly on the investigations committee (to investigate themselves), the Office of the (Old Kampala Old Students Assocation) OKOSA Chairperson commissioned a private investigation into this strike, the findings of which have been availed to the Investigator.
Suspicious conduct of police officers
According to various eye witness accounts, the outgoing Headteacher of Old Kampala SSS (Aziida Ntegana Nsubuga), working with Tumwesigye Enoch (Community Liaison officer) and ASP Grace Nyangoma were in touch a day before the strike and in the morning hours of July 14th – the actual day of the strike. It is alleged that Mrs. Nsubuga ‘informed’ the police about an impending strike by the students.
Friday is not a known assembly day at Old Kampala SSS, but on that particular Friday, an impromptu Assembly was called and the Mrs. Nsubuga appeared, in tow with Police Officers from Old Kampala Police Station, and the police officers are quoted by various eye witnesses as having said the following words
“…you students, your headmistress is a very good woman. We have never had a person like her in this school. Some people in the Ministry of Education have decided to take away your mum, but you have a right to demonstrate peacefully. There are some people who are fighting her, but you can exercise your right to demonstrate against the transfer… fight for your mum…”
The statements notwithstanding, it is quite disturbing that police officers trained in crowd management can decide to bring the ‘agitated’ people in a central place in an assembly rather than try to diffuse the strike by engaging them in small groups. This leads us to pose the question; what was the motive of Mrs. Nsubuga and the Police officers in calling this assembly? Anybody with elementary training in logic or intelligence will tell you that this is suspicious behavior by Mrs. Nsubuga and her Police friends. This led our investigator to probe further the relationship between these Police officers and Mrs. Nsubuga prior to the day of the strike.
Transactions between Old Kampala Police and Old Kampala SSS under Mrs. Nsubuga’s leadership
Our investigations have established that whenever Uganda Police had a workshop or meeting outside the premises of Old Kampala Police, but within the area, it used to hire Royal theatre on Martin Rd, but at a certain point in time, the officers in charge of Old Kampala Police reached an understanding with the then Headteacher of Old Kampala SSS (Mrs. Nsubuga) to use the premises and facilities of Old Kampala SSS.
Our investigations have also revealed that the Accounting officer of Old Kampala Police was given facilitation and logistical support to cater for the venue of these functions, but the school’s financial records do not indicate any single payment from the Uganda Police Force!!! For the avoidance of doubt, the following events were held at Old Kampala SSS
- 25th February 2017 – Police Marathon in the Sports fields
- 17th March 2017 – Police meeting of DPCs
- 18th March 2017 – Police fitness drills
- 19th March 2017 – Police function
- 25th March 2017 – Crime Preventers function presided over by the IGP
- 22nd April 2017 – Police Sports Gala in the sports fields
- 24th April 2017 – Police night meeting in the school main hall
Assuming that the facilities were always given to the Police for free by Mrs. Nsubuga, how would the police deal with her if she was found on the wrong side of the law??? Does this explain the suspicious conduct of the police officers in the artificial students’ strike that was meant to benefit Mrs. Nsubuga?? ASP Grace Nyangoma is hostile to anyone who probes about the whereabouts of the money meant to pay for the venue on the said dates.
Stage-managed investigations into the strike
With the school closed, the Ministry of Education and Sports was reported to have set up a committee to investigate the strike. The committee reportedly had the following people;
- Mr. David Esuku – from Kampala Capital City Authority
- Mr. John Kiwanuka – Internal Security Organisation
- ASP Grace Nyangoma – Police
- Ms. Florence Anguzu – Ministry of Education & Sports
- Mr. Daniel Amanyire – Ministry of Education & Sports
- Ms. Mary Ntete Gunteese – Ministry of Education & Sports
- Ms. Frances Atima – Ministry of Education & Sports
On Tuesday 18th July 2017 at 6:57pm in the evening, Mr. Esuku called the OKOSA Chairman asking him to appear before the so called committee. The Chairman demanded that the committee meets with the entire Executive Committee of OKOSA. The Chairman followed it up with an email explaining the flaws in that committee as mentioned below;
One, Mr. Esuku David was the same person who supervised the break into office by Mrs. Nsubuga in 2015, in the presence of Dr. Nsubuga who was playing a central role in the transfer of his spouse to Old Kampala SSS. Was it not strange that Mr. Esuku was again appearing to investigate a strike designed to benefit Mrs. Nsubuga?
Two, Mr. Esuku David had once told lies at the Ministry of Education and Sports in the presence of OKOSA regarding the composition of the Board of Governors of Old Kampala SSS. Was it not strange for him to continue investigating Mrs. Nsubuga when he has been defending her?
Three, Ms. Mary Ntete Gunteese is a Principal Education Officer in charge of proposing transfers for secondary school teachers/Headteachers in Central region. She is also in charge of SESEMAT where Mrs. Nsubuga serves as Treasurer and her spouse Dr. Nsubuga was Mary’s supervisor in the Ministry of Education and Sports. Supposing the investigation committee was to recommend transfers of some members of staff, was this not to create a conflict of interest for Mary Ntete Gunteese?
Four, ASP Grace Nyangoma’s past dealings with Mrs. Nsubuga as explained above bring into question her role on the committee. How did she even get on to the committee? Did the IGP sanction this action? Did she not see that the strike was a criminal offence and therefore Police needed to constitute a team of detectives to investigate the matter conclusively? Is ASP Grace Nyangoma a detective?
Five, Did this committee have any judicious and/or judicial powers? Can its report be challenged in courts of law? What was the intention of this committee? What statutory instrument established the committee? What remedies do the people affected the recommendations of such a committee have?
Lastly, prior to the strike, OKOSA had been engaging with the Commissioner of Secondary Education, the Director of Basic and Secondary Education, the Under Secretary and Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Education and Sports and it was these engagements that resulted into the transfer that ‘sparked’ off the strike. Did the committee interview the said officers who are senior to the entire investigations committee?? Was this committee a foolery or a kangaroo court set up to please Mrs. Nsubuga and her cohorts who were using students for selfish motives?
The foregoing issues notwithstanding, some newspapers carried stories attributed to the report of the committee which recommended that some staff members of Old Kampala SSS be transferred. Surprisingly, the members of staff that were earmarked by the committee for transfer are the ones who were opposed to the students’ strike such as Deputy Headteachers Mr. Godfrey Sekandi and Miss Nesakya Juliet.
Investigations by a private investigator hired by OKOSA indicate that the architects of the students strike were;
- Mrs. Aziida Ntegana Nsubuga
- Mr. Bwete Ismail (Deputy Headteacher)
- Mr. Tumwesigye Enoch (CLO – Old Kampala Police)
- Mr. Mboowa Ivan
- Mr. Mubiru James Woods (old student)
- Mr. Waggala Isaac (old student)
- Mr. Semambo Bernard (old student)
- Mr. Bulolo Allan (old student)
It also revealed that the execution (mobilization and facilitation) of the strike was carried out by the following people;
- Mr. Bwete Ismail – Deputy Headteacher
- Ivan Mboowa – teacher with no papers
- Oketch Richard -teacher
- Patrick Nakumanyanga – security guard at the school
- Ssesanga Eriasi – cleaner at the school
- Kasango Ramathan –teacher at the school
- Magambo Frank – teacher at the school
- 2016 old students (student leaders)
- Outgoing prefects
- Muwonge Peter – Chairman of Students’ Council
The report of the so called Investigations committee does not mention any punitive action to be taken against the aforementioned individuals who planned and executed the strike.
It ought to be remembered that on the eve of the strike, Mrs. Nsubuga held a farewell meeting with her staff and she remarked thus, “I am going, but most of you are also going to be transferred just as was the case in Makerere College School and please note that I am going to exit like Idi Amin.”
The Investigator wonders whether the Ministry of Education and Sports has any will to bring to book the individuals who hoodwinked students into striking and spoiling school property. We also hasten to ask what action the police leadership will take against the officers from Old Kampala Police. We are keeping our fingers on this and we shall keep the readers informed.