KAMPALA – The Uganda National Examinations Board (UNEB) has refuted claims of examinations leakage in Seeta Junior School and denied that the alleged whistleblower, Mr Richard Okello, who was arrested for exposing examinations malpractice at the school, was a scout.
On Sunday, November 17, 2019, PML Daily broke a story of how Mr Okello, through his lawyers, had petitioned the Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP), alleging that the State Minister for Higher Education John Chrysostom Muyingo, who is the owner of Seeta Junior School, is victimizing the teacher after reporting the alleged scandal.
But in a statement issued on Monday, November 18, 2019, UNEB insists that Mr Okello has never been a scout.
“UNEB hereby clarifies as follows; 1. The purported scout, Okello Richard, was NOT a UNEB a scout as alleged, and UNEB is not aware of his identity. 2. UNEB has not received any whistle blower’s report regarding examination leakage from anybody, including the so called Okello Richard,” the statement reads in part.
“3. UNEB is unaware that the said Okello Richard made arrests of the teachers mentioned in the social media reports. 4. UNEB is aware that during the period leading to the Primary Leaving Examinations (PLE), a number of individuals were arrested for vending fake papers of Mathematics and SST, while others remained at large as it was reported in the media,” it adds.
UNEB added that no UNEB official or police officer has been arrested or detained at any one point, in connection with examination malpractice in the ongoing examinations.
“UNEB adheres to the Whistle-Blowers Act 2010 and has a policy in place to protect its whistleblowers,” the statement adds.
In a petition dated November 15 and filed by his lawyers, MS Alliance, the teacher, Mr Richard Okello, claims that he tipped off the police to arrest two teachers of Seeta Junior School, who he claims to have found sharing a leaked PLE exam on their mobile phones and teaching it to pupils.
“Our client informs us that on or about the 5th day of November 2019, in the recently concluded PLE, he was appointed as an Examination Scout and he was working under the team led by Commissioner CID Administration, Richard Mwesigye,” the petition to the DPP reads in part.
“That in the course of executing of their duties, they carried out several arrests of teachers involved in PLE Examinations malpractices and in, particular the following schools were afflicted:- Seeta Junior School, where they arrested teachers Ekaju and Odeke. They were arrested by Commissioner Richard Mwesigye on a tip-off from our client_ the mobile phones recovered from these teachers, showed that they had circulated the leaked examination on the WhatsApp platform to several schools, including Global Junior Mukono, Mukono Junior School, Shiloh Prim, School, Jinja to mention but a few These teachers were arrested while teaching pupils the exam of the day.
The teacher claims that despite the teachers being arrested by police in accordance with the law, Mr Muyingo, using his office, caused the release of the suspects.
“Our client informs us that, when the Minister of State of Higher Education J. Chrysostom Muyingo heard about the arrest of his teachers on charges of examination malpractices, he reportedly pushed for their release on Police bond and to his knowledge they were released from Jinja Road Police Station at night,” the petition adds.
The lawyers claim that after the release of the teachers engaged in the exam practice, Dr Muyingo, using his bodyguard, arrested Mr Okello and has been in detention without any charges being preferred against him.