The Police in Mukono Division recently intervened in a case involving the detention of a 13-year-old Primary Seven candidate at Pherry Junior School. The school, located in Mukono Central Division, Mukono Municipality, had detained the student since November 9, 2023, due to her parents’ failure to clear outstanding school fees amounting to sh2.2 million.
Mukono Division Police Commander, Edrisa Kyeyune, revealed that the school’s director, Sylvia Okite, detained the pupil after her Primary Leaving Examinations (PLE). The parents, Joseph Kasirye and Florence Nabbanja, residents of Mukono town, were identified as the defaulting parties.
The Police compelled Okite to release the girl, citing the act as unlawful confinement. Commander Kyeyune emphasized that schools relinquish responsibility for Primary Seven pupils immediately after their PLE exams. He urged Okite to explore lawful means, such as working with the Uganda National Examinations Board (UNEB), to address unpaid fees without resorting to detention.
Kyeyune questioned the legality of detaining a pupil beyond 48 hours, emphasizing the innocence of the impoverished student in this situation. He instructed Okite to present the girl to the Police promptly.
During a visit to Pherry Junior School on November 14, it was discovered that Kasirye, the father of the detained girl, was also confined inside the school premises. The school administration had given him a document to sign, indicating a commitment to payment for the release of his daughter. However, Kasirye refused, insisting on reading the document before signing.
Kasirye explained that, on the last visitation day before PLE, he had handed over his boda boda card to the school as a commitment to pay the fees. Despite this, the school refused to release his daughter, citing unpaid fees.
The Police secured Kasirye’s release and urged him to report to the Police station. Okite claimed that other parents were in agreement with the school’s decision, except for Kasirye, whom she accused of causing confusion.
As of the latest update, the girl has been taken to Mukono Police Division headquarters, where statements from all parties involved will be recorded before handing her over to her parents. The potential legal consequences for Okite regarding the unlawful detention remain uncertain.