Muhakanizi ordered all public schools' headteachers and local governments' accounting officers who received capitation funds for the second term, to return it to the Consolidated Fund within two week.
The Uganda National Teachers Union (UNATU) has asked its members to withhold the return of the Government money which was sent to their accounts during the lockdown. The secretary to treasury Keith Muhakanizi had ordered for a refund.
In a letter dated August 5, UNATU's general secretary Filbert Baguma told the members that, "Owing to the fact that the Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development had delayed responding to UNATU's communication of July 30, 2020, the Union chose to present the matter to Parliament."
He explained that in the letter to the finance ministry, UNATU asked the Government to reconsider the instruction for the schools to refund the money, since it was also needed in the respective schools to keep them operational.
He added that the matter had been raised in Parliament by their own workers' representative, Margaret Rwabushaija, as a matter of national concern.
The letter from UNATU adds, "She (Rwabushaija) articulated the fact that the directive to return the said funds intact was not only unfair but impractical owing to the fact that the heads of schools and education institutions had utilised it for the purpose it had been sent."
Baguma explains that the money was used on management, contingency and other operational costs.
However, the education ministry's permanent secretary Alex Kakooza, when contacted, insisted, "All schools must follow what the secretary to treasury said. Return thefunds. Failure to do so will be considered a disciplinary matter."
Genesis of controversy
Muhakanizi ordered all public schools' headteachers and local governments' accounting officers who received capitation funds for the second term, to return it to the Consolidated Fund within two weeks, without fail.
He said it should be as "intact' as it was sent to the respective schools; implying there should be no excuses of any amount of that money to have been used.
In a July 22 letter, Muhakaniza instructed schools to return the money sent to them in the fourth quarter because they were not open for the second term and the Financial Year 2019/2020 came to an end on June 30, 2020.
The money had been sent to schools hoping the second term would run normally.