From Grace to Grass: Kyambogo College School head wanted out due to worsening academics, Office abuse

Head Teacher Annie Tumwesigye
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KAMPALA, Uganda: Trouble is brewing at Kyambogo College School in Kampala with reports rife that staff, parents, the board and Old students are all torn apart regards having the Head Teacher Annie Tumwesigye booted, The Investigator can exclusively report.

This online investigative website has landed on a strongly worded petition to the Inspector General of Government (IGG), the Minister of Education and Sports, Hon, Janet Kataha Museveni and the Board of Directors of Kyambogo College School.

The petition filed by concerned parents, former Old students and some current students of the 60 year old institution pits the current Headteacher of poor administration, incompetence, nepotism, fraud, mistreatment and illegal sacking of teachers, sectarianism, abuse of office as well as favoritism. Among the issues raised in the petition is accusation of charging students who join Kyambogo College School in third term, half fees for first and second terms.

A former parents’ representative on the school board and parent, Alice Tindet revealed to us how students are required to bring reams every term including candidates. “It is too much and getting out of hand. Something must be done because parents are chocking due to unnecessary requirements,” she said. A teacher at the school said they are also puzzled since apart from the two exams done at beginning and end of term, it wasn’t necessary to demand students a ream each term.

In the petition, it’s observed that much as each student is charged UGX10, 000 every term for internet service, the school has not had internet for last three.  The Investigator established that the school collects over UGX20m each term for ICT and Cyber School that we found out is a project run by former Education Permanent Secretary and his wife, F.X Lubanga and Mrs. Ann Lubanga, a former Headteacher of Kyambogo College School.

The Cyber School since closed some three years ago after the operators withdrew due to failure by the school to pay. Surprisingly, even bank slips of last term that we saw had a charge of UGX30, 000 as ICT fees.

“You can check yourself. I am a teacher here, we haven’t had internet for over three years now, the Cyber school closed too,” said a bitter staff member. The enraged staffs accuse the Headteacher of personally owning and employing her kinsmen that she brought from Mbarara in the 1.5 acre banana school garden. “What annoys is how corrupt this madam (Tumwesigye) is, much as we eat matooke everyday, the matooke is harvested from the school garden but she claims she buys them from the market,” said a teacher who begged that we spare her names.

Allegations are rife of how Tumwesigye loads bunches of bananas into trucks every weekend en-route to the market.  Tumwesigye, who replaced Annie Lubanga (now retired) wife to former Permanent Secretary Ministry of Education, Felix Lubanga, we established, was transferred from Ishasha Girls in Bushenyi after complaints from the community and parents for similar acts.

Similarly, reports are endemic that Tumwesigye who has served as the school head since 2012 has rendered the once vibrant 28 clubs of Kyambogo College School useless and inactive due to underfunding.

When the Investigator had a chat with some board members of the school, the biggest challenge they focused on in the petition was the issue of dwindling academic performance. “Kyambogo College School was known as an education giant way back in the 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s until when the former Headteacher Gerald Lukwago retired (1972-2005),” said a board member on condition of anonymity. A quick check into the school’s performance shows that in 2016 the school had 44 first grades for UCE but the number drastically reduced to a paltry 29 in the 2017 UCE results.

Dan Wadanya, a former student (2002- 2007) said the poor administration coupled by the subsequent transfer and firing of teachers had led to the deterioration and poor academic performance of the school.

The UNEB UCE results of 2016 that we saw put KCS at the 13 position among the schools in Kampala. Regarding the ‘fake’ dismissals and firing of teachers, the Investigator hunted down for some of the fired teachers and sought their comment.

Patrick Lugemwa now at Uganda Christian University (UCU) in Mukono had no kind words for the Headteacher. He was fired along with Dan Jabungu, all ICT teachers after they questioned the Headteacher. “We had a meeting with parents at school in 2016 and we requested that the Headteacher moves out of the hall to enable us speak freely. All the three teachers who proposed so were sacked,” Lugemwa told this paper.

Lugemwa and Jabungu both petitioned the school board that ordered that they be reinstated. The war according to those affected didn’t stop prompting Tumwesigye to drop them off the school teaching timetable. Lugemwa has since dragged Annie Tumwesigye to the Industrial Court seeking for damages for illegal sacking and his package estimated in millions of shillings. Other teachers transferred and sacked under mysterious circumstances included Zziwa and Shiek Mbogo, among others.

The school head is also on the spot for using the over UGX60m teachers’ school SACCO money without their consent. The SACCO treasurer confirmed to us that indeed teachers’ salaries were chopped but the funds weren’t put in the SACCO account since the Headteacher said the school had borrowed it.

She is also accused in the petition of alleged misuse of the UGX300m meant for the purchase of the school bus. “This money was collected, unlike our neighbor school, Nabisunsa that bought a new bus, we are yet to get a new one. What we still have is the dilapidated school bus,” said a teacher.

The Investigator had to pitch camp at the school overnight to ascertain reports that Tumwesigye earlier this term removed all the fluorescent bulbs on the guise of saving electricity and purchased 3watt bulbs that have rendered most classrooms dark due to their dimness. “When it rains like it has been of recent, most classrooms are dark. A three watt bulb isn’t bright enough,” said a physics teacher. We established that apart from her office, no other room has a fluorescent bulb.

Tumwesigye hits back

The Investigator took the obligation to hear from the Headteacher. After over three hours wait to meet her, Tumwesigye, who first declined to comment said; “I am aware very many arrows are being pointed towards me, but I will overcome them. “I can even tell you who has brought all those allegations against me.”

Asked whether she had seen the petition, Tumwesigye said; “No. I haven’t”. Squeezed to comment on the various allegations like the issue of loading matooke into trucks for sale every weekend, she said; “that is rubbish”. What about the fact that she was sacked from Ishasha Girls? “You are an investigator, if you show me that letter sacking me, I will reward you.” We have since established that she was transferred after serious complaints, and not necessarily sacked.

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Patrick Jaramogi is a trained Crime, Financial and Fraud investigative journalist. He is a senior writer and Editor at the Investigator. He can be reached via email: [email protected] or watsup +256772426211​​​