Bundiwelume Primary School is a government aided school in Bundiwelume Village, Nyankilo Parish in Kirumya Sub County, Bundibugyo District.
Built to serve hard to reach areas and enable the young children in that community access lower primary education, the school which once had a total number of 177 pupils (101 boys and 76 girls), with classrooms running from primary one to primary four is now history. The school buildings were constructed on poor soils, causing the buildings to sink, hence scaring away the pupils. Basing on the state of the school buildings, the district engineer condemned all the structures and therefore recommended that it closes down.
Parents therefore had to transfer their children to other schools and so were the teachers by the education department. Surprisingly however, a new head-teacher was posted to the same school even when there were neither pupils nor teachers. Having received reports about the school, Rwenzori Anti-Corruption Coalition (RAC) in a joint-monitoring move with the Bundibugyo District Public Accounts Committee paid a visit to this school to verify its status quo.
Upon reaching the school, the team was welcomed by deserted and dilapidated buildings with no sign of ongoing studies whatsoever. The monitoring team confirmed from the community members that the school had closed in the second term of 2015. Shockingly, records from the district education office showed that the ‘non-existing’ school continued to receive UPE funds for three more terms; the third term of 2015 and the first and second terms of 2016, amounting to 1,384,000 /= Uganda Shillings. When RAC investigated these allegations further, it was found out that the former head-teacher – who actually had been transferred to another school continued to withdraw funds for Bundiwelume Primary School.
The funds withdrawn would then be given to the newly appointed head teacher for his personal use. Following unearthing of these corruption tendencies, the District Education Officer wrote to the newly appointed head teacher on 14th October 2016 demanding that he refunds all the monies he had embezzled. He however did not adhere to the DEO’s orders.
RAC then opened up a case against these two head-teachers at Bundibugyo police station; Ref No.SD41/18/10/2016. During investigations, criminal summons were issued to the new head teacher, who pleaded guilty to the offence of embezzling public funds and immediately refunded the monies he had misappropriated.