Bishop Orders Priests To Abstain From LC 1 Elections

 
 
 

LUWERO

The Luweero Anglican Diocese has directed priests not to contest and participate in the forthcoming Village council elections, saying it might split their churches. The Bishop of Luweero Anglican Diocese, Eridard Nsubuga Kironde issued the directive on Sunday shortly after ordaining priests at St. Mark Cathedral Church in Luweero town.

Those ordained include 30 lay leaders who are still on probation, 17 were confirmed as lay leaders, 3 deacons and one parish priest. In his speech, Bishop Nsubuga warned the priests against contesting in the LC 1 elections, saying those who want to should resign from priesthood.

He also warned the priests against voting in the polls, arguing the mode of voting by queuing behind candidates is inappropriate and may split the church. He said that some candidates my see priests as traitors if they don't stand behind them during the vote.

The ordained priests and Christians agreed with the Bishop directives. Livingstone Wasswa, a lay leader in Nkuzongere Church of Uganda in Nakaseke, said the bible call for equal treatment of all Christians and asked priests to stay from divisive politics.

Wasswa said the church welcomes the polls, but he will skip it because he can't queue behind any candidate something that may cause other candidates to hate him. Bernard Ssenyonjo, a Lay leader from Kalungi Church of Uganda in Nakasongola, said he took oath to only serve God and doesn't want to pay allegiance to earthly leaders, saying he will skip the elections.

Absolom Bwanika Bbaale a member of St. Mark Cathedral said that the LC I elections will not only create disunity in church but in communities and families.

Other Christian said the open voting system may cause the leaders to deny them services, saying they won't participate in the polls. The Electoral Commission Chairperson, Justice Simon Byabakama defends the mode of voting, saying it promotes transparency in elections.

Electoral Commission had planned to hold the LC I polls in November this year. However, a group of under a pressure group dubbed the "The Alternative" dragged the Electoral Commission (EC) and Attorney General to the High Court seeking orders to suspend the elections on grounds that the purported mode of conducting the polls is a threat to fundamental human rights.

They argue that the mode of queuing behind candidates is an infringement on the right to a secret ballot, voter integrity and fair elections as voters will be exposed to intimidation and manipulation. James Tweheyo, the Secretary General Uganda National Teacher's Union also filed a petition before high court challenging the conduct of elections without including students.

Justice Steven Musota Issued interim orders, which will remain into force until January 30, 2018.

 
 

Nakasongola Fails To Recruit Secondary School Teachers

 
 
 

NAKASONGOLA

Fifty five percent of the teaching positions in Nakasongola district are still vacant, PRIME RADIO has learnt. Information obtained from Nakasongola District Education Office shows that there are only 130 out of the required 285 secondary schools in the district.

There are nine government aided secondary schools in Nakasongola district. John Patrick Kyambadde, the Nakasongola Secondary School Head teacher, says his school has a staff ceiling of 50 teachers but only 19 are available.

According to Kyambadde, currently teachers are asked to do multiple tasks by teaching in both Ordinary and "Advanced "level.

The situation isn't any different at Kalongo Seed Secondary School. Although the school has a staff ceiling of 30 teachers only 13 are available for a school with an enrollment of 700 students. William Kiwala, the Head teacher Kalongo Seed Secondary School explains that apart from teacher shortage, the school has one non-teaching staff out of seven recommended for the school.

Other affected schools include Kakooge, Lwabyata, St. Joseph High school Nakasongola and Nakasongola Army Secondary School among others. Samuel Kafeero, a parent at Kakooge Secondary School says that due to inadequate number of teachers, learners are unable to complete the syllabus in time, which partly explains their poor performance in exams.

George William Kajura, the Nakasongola District Education Officer, says some schools are compelled to use the school capitation grant or ask parents for some fees to recruit more staff but they can't match the number of learners. He however, notes that asking parents for money undermines the spirit of Universal Secondary Education.

Sam Kigula, the Nakasongola LC 5 Chairperson, says that due to staff shortage, over 20 teachers got fake appointment letters and posted themselves in the district where they eventually accessed payroll. Kigula says although they were arrested and charged in court, his prayer is that they are re-instated to cover the gaps.

The State Minister for Higher Education John Chrysostom Muyingo admits that there is low staffing levels across secondary schools in Uganda. He explains that the matter was presented in cabinet where they seek to recruit 2000 science teachers and 1500 art teachers in the next financial year.

He says once the proposal is approved, the Ministry will recruit teachers to address the problem of staffing levels in the district.

 
 

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