MASAKA – Three primary school teachers appeared before the Masaka Magistrate’s court on Wednesday for allegedly leaking Primary Leaving Examination – PLE scripts to candidates via social media. The suspects are Robert Kintu, Vincent Atukwase and Waneslaus Twongyeriwe.
The Masaka Chief Magistrate, Sylvia Nvanungi read for the accused two counts of aiding and abetting examination malpractices and unauthorised possession of examination materials under section 25 of the UNEB Act, 2021.
According to the charge sheet, the suspect committed the offences between November 8 – 9 this year, when they leaked the examination scripts to various schools within the Masaka region.
The prosecution led by Pricilla Nakika, the Masaka Assistant State Attorney told the court that the accused person abused their responsibilities as examination supervisors when they stealthily opened the PLE parcels and circulated the scripts to various schools ahead of time. According to the UNEB Act as amended; “any person who wilfully attempts to gain possession of any examination paper or any part of an examination paper, material, or information commits an offense and is liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding one thousand currency points or a term of imprisonment not exceeding five years, or both.”
Section 25 (2) of the same Act also states that any person who intentionally or negligently aids or causes any candidate to receive or gain unlawful possession of examination material is subject to a fine of up to Ugx20m or five years in prison or both.
Meanwhile, although the suspects denied the offences, the prosecution insisted that they had gathered enough evidence implicating them over the same, praying that they are charged accordingly.
The suspects applied for bail in vain due to lack of substantive sureties, and the presiding magistrate, accordingly remanded them until December 19 when their second bail application will be considered. Anne Kembaali, the Principal Legal Officer at UNEB revealed the suspects were arrested following a tip-off from a whistle-blower. Accordingly UNEB sent out a special investigative team that collaborated with the police, leading to the arrest suspects.
Sources revealed further that UNEB had launched an investigation across the country linking this particular Masaka cartel.
Commercialisation of the education sector is one of the many causes contributing to the vice, which has gradually crept into Uganda’s education system. Each year hundreds of examination results are withheld due to malpractice. UNEB has often blamed the weak laws for the continuing vice. However, with the amended Act, the board has had a robust mechanism for spotting and tracking suspected malpractice.
Additional reporting by URN