Hundreds of pupils of Namakeba community school in Kasaali ‘A’ in Nairambi Sub County in Buvuma district are studying under a tree following the demolition of their classes to pave way for the construction of commercial buildings.
District officials resolved to demolish the schools claiming that the three-acre piece of the land it was occupying belongs to the National Forestry Authority-NFA. However, the officials have since parcelled the land into 23 plots for commercial development leaving over 600 pupils without classes to study from.
The implicated leaders include the LC V Chairperson, Adrian Ddungu, NRM District Chairperson, Fred Wandera, Resident District Commissioner, Godfrey Tilutya, Nairambi Sub County Chief, William Sserunjogi, LC 3 Chairperson, Yunusi Maganda, District Police Commander, Emily Angomuko, the district Health Secretary, Amina Nakilanda and her Production counterpart, Muzamiru Bukumune.
Residents are worried that the pupils may not complete the academic year since they are now chasing after tree shades from a single tree left standing. They accuse the district officials of demolishing the school before constructing a new one. The School Deputy Head Teacher, David Singaki says that Namakeba community school started in 2016 to save learners from working long distances and was coded by the government in 2019.
He notes that to their surprise after the demolition of the classroom blocks during the second lockdown, the leaders have not provided pupils with an alternative space to study from. According to Singaki, they had over 1000 but over 400 pupils have since shunned the school because of studying under a tree. “All the seven classes gather under one tree. The rest of the trees were cut down at the time of demolishing the buildings. We need serious intervention by the government,” he said.
URN has established that this is the only school in the sub-county and once it stops operating pupils will have to move about 8 kilometres through the bushes to study at Bukaali primary in Buwooya sub-county. Both the District LC V and LC 3 Chairpersons have laid foundations for their commercial buildings.
Adnan Yekka, a member of the school management committee, says that their efforts and hope to have a government-aided school within the area have been buried.
Vincent Kizito, one of the parents says close to a month of the reopening of learning institutions learners converge under in tree.
Buvuma District Education Officer, Hussein Bugembe, says the school had successfully gone through the government’s coding process and received some funds to establish proper buildings.
He however declined to reveal the circumstances under, which demolition was done before the establishment of the new school since the process involves many high profile district officials. Both the DPC and RDC have denied owning plots on the contested land. They, however, couldn’t deny attending meetings that resolved to demolish the school.
Buvuma District LC V Chairperson, Adrian Ddungu, says that they resolved to demolish the school after identifying another piece of land since it was operating on forest land. He notes that the district has also secured Shillings 180 million they intend to use for the construction of the new school.
The chairperson failed to explain how he has ended up constructing on the same land he claims belongs to National Forestry Authority. Joseph Wowa, the Chairperson of the School Management Committee, says that various district leaders find it hard to open up about the land.
He, however, says that in one of the meetings they decided to develop the contested school land so as to benefit the society since there are plans of relocating the school to a new place. Buvuma county Member of Parliament, Robert Migadde says the entire process of shifting the school needs to be investigated since it lacks transparency.
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