Just In: Locals attack Bishop Samuel Gidudu over failure to account for 120M UGX

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Some stake holders and residents of Buwalasi Sub County in Sironko have accused Samuel Gidudu the bishop of North Mbale Diocese of failing to account a total of 120 million shillings and managing properties of former Buwalasi primary teachers college, an accusation the bishop dismisses as being baseless and directed at the wrong person.

While speaking today during a stakeholders’ Baraza meeting organised at Buwalasi former PTC premises, Fred Bulobe one of the stake holders says that after government phasing out most of primary teachers collages in Uganda including Buwalasi in 2000, buildings and collage properties remained redundant for a while. 

He adds that later North Mbale diocese took over control and used buildings for training clergy and priests. Bulobe also says that in 2015, North Mbale diocese created an interim governing council body headed by the Bishop to govern  and take control of all its properties like land and buildings.

John Gidudu Maboni also a stake holder adds that after the diocese forming that interim governing council body, they changed all accounts of the collage into names of North Mbale Diocese where by all revenue collected from properties like land rent , rental from hosting the MTN mast planted at the school among others  are banked  directly on the diocese account.

He adds that on several occasions they have organized meetings and called Bishop  Patrick Gidudu the of North Mbale diocese to give accountability of 120  million shillings they have been collecting from MTN Company for last six years as rent for their  mast  and over 20 million shillings they collected in 2018 during fundraising drive but he refuse to come.

Stephen Gudoyi also says that interim school board has gone ahead to misuse the collage properties like hiring land to people to carry out farming and cutting down trees after which they pocket the money rather than doing developmental work at the college.

The angry stakeholders now say they are planning to use legal means to reclaim their school and properties so that they can lobby for a university for the benefit of the  community and the region.

Patrick Gidudu the bishop of North Mbale diocese has dismissed the allegations of swindling any money, saying that those people are just aiming at tarnishing his name and that of the diocese. He adds that the college has its own account in names of Buwalasi PTC administered by Elisa Wasukila the principle and his executive board members where all the school monies collected in terms of levies on the properties go, but  not on of  North Mbale diocese account. 

Moses Nambale, the Sironko district education officer has denied having any knowledge about swindling of money saying that anybody with evidence can write to his offices and they see how to investigate the matter. 

Nambale also says after government phasing out that college and the community took advantage of grazing their animals on the school grounds, encroaching on the school land among other bad things, the bishop of North Mbale diocese decided to put an interim governing council which has brought up the school, which annoyed some community members. 

He adds that as Sironko district they are in the process of acquiring license and registering with the council of higher education before putting up an institution which will be training clergy, priests and primary teachers who want to upgrade for diplomas and degrees on the premises of former Buwalasi PTC.

Elisa Wasukila the principle of former Buwalasi PTC also says that the money they collect from school properties including the MTN mast has been used in maintaining buildings, paying staff, and some for pursuing the registration of the institute they want to start under the council of higher education. 

He refutes claims of misusing of the property of the school and swindling of revenue collected from school properties as alleged by the stakeholders, saying that those members are looking for ways of owning the school so they sell off its properties which he said will  will not be alowed.