Row over schools: Lira CAO threatens to arrest Lango, Lira Dioceses bosses

Pupils of Angica primary school in Lira district. Courtesy photo.

Lango – The struggle for ownership under foundation body of at eleven [11] government aided primary schools in Lira district has caused dispute between Lango and Lira dioceses.

Foundation body according to the Education Act of 2008 comes into effect in line with the religious faith that has founded the school, and it can also be an individual.

The Act allows nomination of at least five members to serve in the school management committee [SMC].

Among the schools being fought for are Ongica primary school in (Ngetta sub-county), Abunga primary school in (Bar sub-county), Adekokwok and Boke primary schools all in Adekokwok sub-county, among others.

This contemporary news website has learnt that a bitter row has erupted between the Anglican Church and the Roman Catholic with both claiming that it founded the above schools and that they have evidence of ownership.

Mark Tivu, the Lira Chief Administrative Officer has admitted they are aware of the feud between the two religious faiths.

Tivu also told this news website that the district has received a directive from the Ministry of Education and Sports.

“We have received a letter from the Ministry of Education and Sports asking us to reach out to these schools and ascertain the truth about these claims by both the Catholic and Anglican Churches,” Tivu told added in an interview to TND News Uganda.

According to CAO, the district intends to hold discussions with some elderly members of the community surrounding these schools.

“Because they [elders] could be in the know of who then donated land where the schools have been established,” he added.

On learning that the district was to embark on fact finding mission, unconfirmed report says the Anglican Church soon took an action.

This contemporary news website has learnt that Lango Dioceses using a law firm that we are yet to know its address fully wrote a strong letter to the district.

The instructions from the law firm warns the district officials not to step foot in those schools because they belong to the Anglican Church.

When contacted to ascertain if his office received a letter from a law firm, Chief Administrative Officer Mark Tivu confirmed being in possession of a letter but declined to share a copy with this news website.

Our reporter later reached out to Lango Dioceses on the basis of the instructions it allegedly issued to the district.

Rev Sam Isaac Erik, the Diocesan Secretary – Diocese of Lango told our reporter that indeed the letter was written to the district.

“It is true our lawyer wrote to them and that is our stand,” Rev Sam Isaac Erik confirmed further in interview.

According to Rev Erik, there is absolutely no point having the district leadership probe them or reach out to the schools because they have submitted all the documents which proves that they are owned by the Anglican Church.

On the other hand Father Lawrence Opio, the Secretary for Education at Lira Catholic Diocese has accused the Anglican Church of attempting to “grab” their schools.

Fr. Opio adds that they also have documents to prove that they are true owner of the above fifteen schools.

“I’m wondering why the Anglican is fast moving to block the district from carrying out a fact finding mission if they think they are on the right,” surprised Catholic education secretary says.

Reprehensibly, Chief Administrative Officer – Mark Tivu has threatened to order for arrest of some the officials of Lango Diocese, warning that if their actions is not checked it could have a disastrous impact on the lives and future of the young children.

“We cannot entertain this feud anymore; the children studying in these schools belong to government and government also sends money to these schools they are fighting over. We shall arrest them all,” Tivu sends early warning.

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