Makindye West Legislator, Allan Ssewanyana alongside residents of Katwe village in Makindye Division, have vowed to stop the demolition of Katwe Martyrs Primary School, as proposed by the Church.
The future of the Church founded School under Namirembe Diocese, currently has an enrolment of over 300 pupils under Universal Primary Education programme, remains uncertain as the Church has embarked on its eviction, in preference of constructing a shopping mall.
According to a letter by the acting Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) acting Director, Andrew Kitaka, dated January 7, 2019, to the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Education and Sports (MoES), KCCA received a development application from Namirembe Diocese, which included construction of shopping malls and re-development/relocation of the school.
He says the application was reviewed by the Directorate of Physical Planning and established that the plot housing the school is too small to accommodate both the proposed shopping malls and the school, before advising the Church on the possible alternatives.
“The applicants were subsequently guided to either abandon the proposed commercial development in favour of maintaining the school or first develop a relocation site in the vicinity and shift the school prior to redeveloping the current site,” read Kitaka’s letter in parts.
Kitaka adds that Namirembe Diocese was equally given an alternative of liaising with the MoES on termination of education services currently offered by the school.
He explains that as KCCA, they have not yet received a response on their guidance from the Church, but instead, on December 11 last year, the Bishop of Namirembe Diocese lead a delegation and met, Jenifer Musisi asking to immediately proceed with their proposed redevelopment, which was not granted.
Today, area Member of Parliament, Allan Ssewanyana and other education stakeholders, addressed reporters at the school and expressed their commitment to having the school stay.
“We are warning whoever wants to construct a mall here that this land was gazetted to be a government school which could help the poor and the needy in Katwe and Kibuye,” Ssewanyana said.
“So whoever has motives of constructing a mall here should put that into consideration and that this area needs this school more than anything else, so we are ready to fight for this land to be maintained as school premises for Katwe Martyrs Primary School”
“This is a school whose history goes back to the 1930s, it is not something to say with. Some of these people who want to construct a mall here were born a hundred years after this land had been acquired for the school. So these young men and women who want to destroy our school should stand warned,” he explained.
The youthful legislator has also pitched government to always come out in time and save its property from what he termed at ill motivated individuals.
“I also call upon government to always be ready to safeguard such property like schools, why should parents and and ordinary people cry to you government when you are the first beneficiaries of such entities like schools?” he asked.
He also wondered why the Ministry of Education and Sports has taken long to respond to the letter from KCCA on matter.
“It has taken ten to fifteen days for the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Education and Sports to reply to this letter from the Executive Director. I thought that as a ministry, they should have taken this matter as urgent as possible, because these businessmen who want to construct a mall here are giving a deadline of not later than end of January to start construction,” he said.
He added that they shouldn’t wait for whoever wants to construct a mall to demolish the school and then they arise.
This comes at a time when first term of the academic year 2019 will be commencing on February 4.