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PLE: Three charged over examination malpractice

L-R, Mulindwa, Lutayisire and Mbayo in the dock. URN Photo

Butambala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Three people including a teacher have been charged for allegedly damaging Primary Leaving Examinations-PLE material in Kibibi town council, Butambala district.

Nelson Mbayo, a teacher and resident of Namasuba-Kikajjo in Makidye division, was arraigned before the Magistrates Court in Butambala on Wednesday.

He was charged with the offence of damage or destruction of examination paper, examination material and other material or information contrary to the Uganda National Examinations Board-UNEB Act of 2021, which attracts a penalty of a fine not exceeding 1,000 currency points worth Shillings 20 million, and or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 5 years.

Mbayo was charged jointly with a photographer Chris Lutayisire and Michael Mulindwa, a property broker and resident of Salaama-Kitemu, Nsangi in Wakiso district.

They appeared before Magistrates Grade One Bob Asiimwe, who remanded Mbayo and Mulindwa to prison pending the court’s ruling on their bail application while Lutayisire was granted bail.

Asiimwe ruled that Lutayisire is charged with an offence that is bailable and that he has no capacity to interfere with the investigations. “This court finds the applicant’s sureties to be substantial and the offence is also bailable by this court. He has no previous criminal records and this court is persuaded that he has no likelihood of interfering with the investigations moreso being a mere special hire driver,” Asiimwe ruled.

The court ordered Lutayisire to pay cash bail of Shillings 200,000 while each of his 2 sureties executed a bond of Shillings 5 million not cash. Prosecution alleges that on November 8 this year in Kibibi town council, Butambala district, Mbayo, Lutayisire, Mulindwa and others still at large, willfully and maliciously damaged examination material of Uganda National Primary Leaving Examination Mathematics paper for 2022.

The suspects were arraigned before the court hardly a week after PLE examinations were completed on November 9, 2022. In an interview, UNEB lawyer Anne Kemali explained that the trio is in court in respect of examination malpractice case which refers to destruction of examination material. She said that the case transpired on the first day of PLE on November 8 when the three suspects were found cutting the envelopes for examination papers leading to their arrest.

Kemali said that on the first day of PLE, Lutayisire and Mulindwa were hired to transport and distribute examination materials from the storage center to the various schools. It is alleged that Lutayisire was given examination materials to distribute in five schools but on their way, they diverted to a lodge where they met Mbayo who received the envelopes and was cutting them.

Kemali descried the act of the 3 suspects as unfortunate, saying that the cutting is an offence and a destruction of the examination material no matter whether the information had been shared on social media or not.

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