Theives fail ICT program for schools


Thieves have failed a government program intended to improve ICT learning and connectivity in government aided schools, Parliament has been told.

Uganda communication commission (UCC) told Parliament’s Committee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises (COSASE) that several computers that had been installed in government aided schools’ ICT laboratories had been stolen.

To end the thefts, UCC called for a collaborated effort with the Ministry of Education and Police to save public property from fraudsters that defraud headteachers of schools.

The Auditor General’s report for the financial year 2015/2016 indicates computers that were installed at schools under the Rural Communications Development Fund (RCDF) were stolen, some desktops were unaccounted for, the laboratories lacked internet connectivity, some computers were uninstalled, others nonfunctional while some schools lacked qualified teachers.

The head of Legal Affairs at UCC Abdulsalm Waiswa told the MPs that the theives have a clique that disguises UCC officials and ask head teachers for computers in the guise of repairing them but end up taking the computers from the schools.

So far, 20 cases of theft have been reported at police and some suspects have been arrested, Waiswa told the MPs.

While some computers have been recovered, Waiswa said, thefty of school computers is worsened by laxity of school head teachers.

“As a Commission, we are concerned about the loss of these computers and we are in an effort to improve compliance and limit loss and we have a team of investigator

The Uganda communication commission (UCC) has expressed concerns over the theft computers in Government aided schools and called for a collaborated effort with the Ministry of Education and Police to save public property from fraudsters that defraud headteachers of schools.

The call by UCC officials follow 2015/2016 audit reports raised by the Auditor General where it was noted that Rural Communications Development Fund has been funding ICT laboratories in schools but when auditors visited the established projects, they discovered that some of the computers were stolen, some desktops were unaccounted for, the laboratories lacked internet connectivity, some computers were uninstalled, others nonfunctional while some schools lacked qualified teachers.

Appearing before the Committee of Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises, (COSASE) Head of Legal at UCC Abdulsalm Waiswa blamed this on the clique of people disguising as officials from the Commission  and ask head teachers for computers in the guise of repairing and end up taking these computers from the schools.

Waiswa told the Committee that the Commission has so far registered 20 cases of theft of the school computers to police and some suspects have been arrested while some computers have been recovered.

“We have arrested people and we are prosecuting them for participating in theft and also defrauding Head teachers. Some of them go to these rural areas and lie to these headmasters that they are working for UCC, and that UCC has sent them to pick the computers for maintenance and they ask for money like Shs1M and after familiarizing with these head teachers they come back next week and pick these computers,” Waiswa said.

He however blamed the thefts of on the laxity of school head teachers.

“The thefts are worsened by laxity in school administration who need to be vigilant because ideally if you are the head master and somebody says he works for UCC,” Waswa said.

He said, UCC is working on improving compliance and limit loss. He said, UCC had assembled a team of investigators to follow up on the thefts.

Already, four ongoing cases at Buganda Road Court.