MBALE – For close to a year now, the head teacher of Mbale School of the deaf has declined an audit from the district internal audit.
Even when it is clear that under decentralization, all government internal audit functions are supposed to be handled at the district local government by the internal Auditor, Mbale School of the deaf head teacher Sis Rise Nelima has defied this.
Sources close to the school say that Sis Nelima insists that the audit of the school can only be done in Kampala under ministry of Education and not by the district internal Audit.
This is despite all correspondences from the ministry of Education and sports, the District Education officer [DEO], the Chief Administrative Officer [CAO], the chairman Board of Governors and the Commissioner Special Needs Education and the Principle Internal Auditor at the district.
Uganda is now under decentralization; the transfer of authority from central to local governments to perform certain duties seen as one of the public sector reform strategies to increase service delivery.
In a letter dated July 27 signed by Mr Watasa Mayoka, the district Internal Auditor says he was instructed by the CAO to carry out special audit of the Mbale school of the deaf in respect of alleged diversion of Shs 280m meant for payment of works at the school, Nonpayment of money owed by M/S Mai Kat company for works done at school and the loss of Shs 30m which allegedly withdrew single handedly but that all his efforts to carry audit at the school have failed.
In another letter dated 29 July written by Mr Mayoka to the CAO, Mbale indicates that despite the instructions from the CAO Mbale, the head teacher Mbale School of the deaf Ms Rose Nelima has failed to allow audit in her school.
“I scheduled the audit for March 5 & 6 and accordingly communicated to the head teacher to prepare for the exercise and the head teacher in her communication to me dated Feb 28 indicated that the files containing documents required for audit had been submitted to ministry of education and sports and therefore audit could not take place,” said Mr Mayoka.
Mr Mayoka added that in his audit for the fourth quarter, he again scheduled the audit exercise for the Mbale school of the deaf for July 22 and that the headmistress informed him on July 21 by phone that she was not ready for the exercise.
“All efforts to audit the school as instructed by the CAO and ministry of Education and sports have failed,” a frustrated Mr Mayoka said.
When reached for a comment the chairman Board of Governors Mr Stephen Masika said there was a lot of financial mismanagement in the school to the level that he does not know other accounts where money is banked.
He revealed that he has also written to the head teacher Ms Rose Nelima to give a clarification of the Shs 280m diversion and that she has refused to give a clarification and says she only accounts to the ministry of Education not me.
“The school has a population of 250 students but she has also deceived the ministry of Education and sports to believe that there are 600 students and draws a higher capitation grant,” said Mr Masika.
He revealed that many workers have not been paid at school and that anytime, they might also go into a strike something that would disorganise the school.
This comes at the time the chairperson parliamentary Committee on Gender, labour and social development affairs Mr Alex Ndeezi has also written to the ministry of Education saying the school has serious management problems including financial mismanagement that require urgent attention.
In his letter to Mr J.C Muyingo copied to the permanent secretary ministry of Education, Mr Ndeezi requested that the ministry dispatches a team to verify the allegations and generate recommendations for better management and performance of the school.
In another letter written by the commissioner Special Needs Education Ms Sarah Bugoosi Kibooli dated July 21 on behalf of the permanent secretary ministry of Education and sports also requests for an update on the issues discussed in the meeting of 11 July at the school.
“A report about the current situation at the school particularly on issues agreed upon as a way forward in the meeting especially in reference to audit of the school to be carried out by the district in relation to financial management and members of the school and BOG to be inducted as soon as possible, this should be not later than July 29,” reads the letter signed by Ms Bugoosi in part.
All efforts by PML Daily to get to the head teacher Sis Nelima for a comment were futile as she could not answer the repeated calls.
But reliable sources on ground indicates that the situation has turned political with Sis Nelima ganging up with state minister for trade Mr Michael Kafabusa Werikhe while the r chairman has also ganged up with the LCV chairman Mr Bernard Mujasi in their fights to get the school back to order.
This comes at the time Sis Nelima is in trouble for suspending three workers from the school without giving them a hearing and without payment for close to thirteen months.