UGANDA, Kasese | Real Muloodi News | Lhubiriha Secondary School in Kasese District, the tragic site of a deadly attack that claimed the lives of 37 students, a guard, and three community members, was embroiled in ownership wrangles, according to the Minister of Education and First Lady, Janet Museveni.
In a press conference held at State Lodge, Nakasero on June 17, Minister Museveni assured parents that the government would prioritise the safety of students, highlighting that a nearby school with over 700 students had not experienced any attacks.
Minister Janet Museveni shared with the media the existence of an ongoing conflict over the ownership of Lhubiriha Secondary School, shedding light on the tensions surrounding the educational institution.
She explained that various groups in the Kasese region had sought to take over the school. Still, due to its construction by a non-governmental organisation (NGO), a conflict had arisen between the interested parties and the NGO responsible for building the school.
While the details surrounding the ownership dispute remain unclear, Minister Museveni expressed the possibility that the terrorist group responsible for the attack may have been manipulated by those seeking to gain control of the school.
However, she emphasised that further investigation would be necessary to obtain factual information.
The attack on Lhubiriha Secondary School has been linked by security agencies to the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), a notorious rebel group based in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
Minister Museveni condemned the attack as a “terrible tragedy” and extended her condolences to the bereaved families, students, and staff of the school.
According to the minister, the assailants used guns to kill the students. The dormitories were targeted, with the boys’ dormitory being locked and a petrol bomb thrown inside.
As for the girls’ dormitory, the attackers killed the girls with pangas (machetes) as they attempted to escape.
The Ministry of Education and Sports recently dispatched auditors to Lhubiriha Secondary School to assess its financial records.
Led by Peter Hunter, a Canadian associated with an NGO working in both the DRC and Uganda, the auditors spent two days examining the school’s finances.
Significantly, they concluded their audit on Thursday 15th June, a day before the attack occurred.
Minister Museveni clarified that while the presence of the auditors and the attack may be coincidental, it was important to acknowledge these facts in the investigation.
In response to the attack, the Ministry of Education and Sports promptly dispatched a team, led by State Minister for Higher Education John Chrysostom Muyingo, Permanent Secretary Ketty Lamaro, and the Commissioner for Private Schools, to assess the situation on the ground.
Furthermore, the government pledged support to the affected families by providing each of them with five million Ugandan shillings to assist with burial arrangements.
Minister Janet Museveni concluded her statement by urging the nation to remain calm and united while offering prayers for the affected families and the Kasese District community.
She expressed confidence in the capability of the Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) to apprehend the perpetrators and bring them to justice.
The ongoing investigation will aim to uncover the full details surrounding the ownership wrangles and shed light on the motives behind the tragic attack on Lhubiriha Secondary School.
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