Drama as archbishop blocks St Mary’s College HM hand over ceremony

Brother Deodati Aganyira

The Catholic Church has blocked attempts by Brother Deodati Aganyira, the long-serving educationist and head teacher of St Mary’s College – Kisubi (SMACK) from appointing his successor. Kampala Archbishop, Paul Ssemogerere reportedly stormed the school Tuesday to block the handover ceremony organized by Aganyira.

According to insider sources, Aganyira had planned to hand over the school administration to Bro Augustine Mugabo,  the head teacher of St. Henry’s College Kitovu (SHECK). Kampala Archdiocese, which is in charge of the Catholic Church’s interest in the school was reportedly not in the know of the said handover. 

Sources said concerned staff who reportedly have suffered under the “iron hand” of Aganyira or other officials from the ministry of Education and Sports (MOES) could have reported to the diocese, causing the hasty action to stop the ceremony. 

Sources said Lubaga, the seat of the Kampala archdiocesan ordinary (authority) demanded that Aganyira instead hands over to his deputy Justus Katatumba who should in turn be the one to hand over to a Church-seconded head teacher. 

A December 12, 2022, letter signed by Ronald Ssekabembe Kiberu on behalf of the permanent secretary MOES had directed Bro Mugabo to conclude his duties at (SHECK) and “hand over the office in accordance with section F-d of the Uganda public service standing orders 2021.”   

“In the interest of the service, it has been decided to deploy you to St Mary’s College Kisubi, Wakiso district with immediate effect,” the letter referenced UTS/M/12908 also demanded of Mugabo. 

“By copy of this letter the chairperson board of governors – St Mary’s College – Kisubi, Wakiso district is requested to accord you the necessary support in the execution of your duties,” Ssekabembe added.    

Accordingly, on December 15, Aganyira as head teacher and BOG secretary wrote to board members, “You are cordially invited to attend the handover function for the outgoing board of governors to the new board and from the outgoing head teacher to the incoming head teacher on Tuesday 20th December at the college starting at 10:00 am.” 

Sources said that the Church was not in the know of the said handover to Aganyira’s own anointed successor. Aganyira in a brief phone interview with URN said, “The function has been deferred.” 

When asked to which date he only said, “The date is not yet fixed. You will be informed.” 

On Tuesday evening, the minister of state for Higher Education Dr John Chrysostom Muyingo said he “thought it was a small matter that should not be blown out of proportion.”  

“What I can say is that I have seen a correspondence by the PS to Maama (Education and Sports minister, also first lady Janet Kataha Museveni).  I am sure Maama will solve it as she has done with other issues. But it is a small matter,” Muyingo said.   

Attempts to get a comment from Kampala Archdiocesan education secretary Dr Steven Bonaventure Maloba or the diocesean deputy communications secretary Fr Nicholas Mulumba were futile. Aganyira was reportedly supposed to retire last year but pleaded that his age had been misrepresented by one year, thereby getting another year of service ending in 2022.  

Aganyira previously served at St. Edwards’ SS – Bukuumi, St Henry College Kitovu, Bishop Comboni College, and St. Charles Lwanga Kasasa before his posting to SMACK in 2014.      

Source: The Observer

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