Don’s appointment contested
Posted Monday, January 21 2013 at 02:45
Unfit? A ‘concerned citizen’ argues that the acting VC, Prof. John Opuda, cannot head a high-profile committee yet his office is under investigation.
The appointment of the acting vice chancellor of Kyambogo University, Prof. John Opuda to head a committee to streamline the awarding of higher degrees, has been contested on grounds that his office is under investigation over academic misconduct.
In a petition to the executive director of the National Council for Higher Education (NCHE), the petitioner, Ms Margaret Akiror, says a lot of rot has been unearthed in the management of academics directly under Prof. Opuda.
Referring to herself as a concerned citizen, Ms Akiror says the professor does not deserve to chair such a high-profile committee.
“In view of the fact that Prof. Opuda is a subject of investigations by the IGG ,it would be prudent that you consider withdrawing him from your committee in public interest, in order to guarantee the credibility in the outcome of the committee’s investigations,” Ms Akiror said.
But when contacted last week, Prof. Opuda declined to comment on the matter, saying he was busy chairing a meeting at Kampala International University.
“How can I know that you are from the Daily Monitor? If you want to talk to me, fix an appointment with my secretary and meet me when I am in office but not now when I am busy in a meeting,” Mr Opuda, who also serves as deputy vice chancellor in-charge of academic affairs, said, before hanging up.
The outgoing executive director of the NCHE, Prof. Abdul Kasozi, declined to comment on the matter yesterday, saying he was upcountry and efforts to speak to his successor, Prof. Moses Gololo, were futile as his known telephone number was out of reach.
Prof. Opuda was last November appointed by Prof. Kasozi to head a committee tasked to work out improved minimum requirements and general guidelines for training and awarding of post-graduate degrees appropriate for Uganda and the entire East African region.
This came after the Kenyan education ministry queried academic qualifications awarded by Kampala International University, saying they do not meet their standards.
Other members on the committee include former Makerere University vice chancellor Prof. Venansius Baryamureeba, Dr Muhammad Mpezamihigo from Islamic University in Uganda and Dr Jane Egau from the Ministry of Education. Prof. Maria Musoke (Makerere), Dr Umar Kakumba (Makerere), and Dr Cyrus Ssebugenyi (NCHE) are also part of the taskforce.