Schools warfare: Lira DEO grilled, ‘cries like a youngster’ before committee

Under pressure: Lira DEO Jane Frances Ofungi. Photo credit: New Vision.

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Focus: Chief Administrative Officer – Mark Tivu has threatened to order for arrest of some officials of Lango Diocese.

On Monday, Lira District Committee on Education and Health held an emergency meeting following the controversy surrounding the rightful ownership of over eleven government aided primary schools between Lira Catholic and Lango Dioceses.

The meeting follows a stoutly worded letter from Stella Achan of M/S Achan and Company Advocates, warning Lira district local government not to step her foot on all the schools currently under dispute.

The Law firm – hired by Lango Diocese, in a letter to Lira district Chief Administrative Officer [CAO], states that the Anglican Church has already demonstrated it owns all the eleven schools.

The Monday meeting was attended by Jane Frances Ofungi, the Lira District Education Officer [DEO] who had written a ‘stay away letter’ to the education committee asking it to stay off any actions it had intended to take on Lango Diocese.

But during the meeting, the committee chairperson Judith Atengo strongly asked Ms Jane Ofungi and demanded to know why she [DEO] bowed to the pressure following the letter from Lango Diocese Lawyer.

The committee chairperson also accused the DEO of being biased and accepting her office to be used for no rightful cause.

“I did not write the letter to the committee in bad faith. I needed to bring to the attention of the committee the letter from Lango Diocese,” quaking education boss told the committee.

Part of the letter written by Lango Diocese Law firm to the district warning them not to dare. 

Ofungi’s reply never convinced Anthony Ojuka who’s a member of the education committee and also a councilor of Lira sub-county.

“As council we have lost confidence in most of our technical people because they keep frustrating us,” Ojuka told DEO.

“It appears she [Ms Ofungi] has been compromised by Lango Diocese,” Ojuka added, however, the DEO interjected and denies the claim.

George Okello Ayo, the Lira LC5 vice chairperson says they would go ahead to resolve the issue of foundation body.

Mr Ayo – who’s also the secretary of health and education whilst a councilor representing Ngetta sub-county quoted section 22 of the Local Government Act from which he says the committee derives its mandate.

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.

Last week, Lira District Chief Administrative Officer, Mark Tivu had this to say to TND News Uganda, “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.”

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

The Chief Administrative Officer – Mark Tivu has threatened to order for arrest of some 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.

Part of the letter from the Ministry of Education and Sports to Lira CAO over the schools.

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