Sembabule. Police in Sembabule District have arrested seven teachers attached to seven government primary schools over alleged use of fake academic papers to access the payroll.
The suspects, according to Mr Elias Bairuka, the deputy in charge of criminal investigations in Sembabule District, are part of the bigger group of 130 teachers who are yet to appear before the district service commission on the same allegations.
The suspects are attached to Ntusi Primary School, Kabale Parents, Lusalira Primary School, Kinywamazi Muslim Primary School, Nkandwa Primary School and Katimba Umea Primary School, all in Sembabule District.
“They (teachers) are all in our custody and we yet to arraign them in court,” Mr Bairuka told Daily Monitor yesterday.
The development comes after Mr Henry Baguma, the Sembambule Resident District Commissioner in March directed police to investigate ghost teachers in the district.
Mr Baguma’s directive followed his visit to Kawanda Secondary School in March where he discovered that the school had seven ghost teachers who were not even known by the students.
In December last year, about 45 teachers attached to government secondary schools in Sembabule, had their payment suspended on grounds that they had used fake appointment letters, which saw these teachers abandon duty in fear of being arrested.
The district service commission had just concluded a recruitment exercise of 99 primary teachers where among them were to replace the suspended teachers who were scrapped off from the pay roll over fake academic papers.
Mr Bairuka said at least 123 out of the 130 teachers, who are being investigated by the district service commission, will answer cases of absconding from duty yet they have been receiving monthly salaries.
Recently, Mr Robinison Nsumba Lyazi, the director of basic education, said forgeries were rampant in teaching as many people try to use unofficial ways to access government pay roll tasking district accounting officers to be vigilant.
Last month, at least 11 secondary school teachers attached to seven government aided schools in Nakasongola District were charged and remanded over forging appointment letters.
Teachers, doctors, nurses, police officers, public prosecutors and prison officers form the bulk of these civil servants.
In order to ensure a streamlined payment system and eliminate ghosts from the payroll, the Finance ministry in 2015 passed the management of the payrolls to the districts away from the Public Service ministry. But still ghosts workers are reported in many districts. A recent report by the Auditor General revealed that a total of 5,586 government workers are ghosts.