President Museveni yesterday warned that government will arrest students who will default in paying back loans acquired under the students’ loan scheme.
The President was speaking at the launch of the scheme at Kyambogo University where he drove an ethanol powered car, an innovation by the university community.
The scheme is intended to enable students from poor background to access higher education using money borrowed from government.
However, they will be expected to repay the loans on completion or risk a fine not exceeding 50 currency points (Shs1m) or imprisonment of six months, according to the law.
“Many of the parents are having problems in paying money for students who don’t get government sponsorship. That is why we said let us have a student loan,” President Museveni said.
“It has low interest because of inflation. It is to make the money retain the value as last year. We are starting with six billion but it will increase. Remember you have to pay back when you finish and get a job.
Otherwise we shall have to come to where you are working and arrest you for defaulting and also for being a bad Christian, a bad Muslim or even a bad pagan.”
He said State House scholarships which have been consuming Shs30b annually will be phased out and the money channeled to the scheme.
“We want to phase that out State House scholarships. We shall initially start with scientists and Arts should wait a little bit. When the money finally grows, we shall consider Arts. This is the apex of our education funding plan,” Mr Museveni said.
Recovering Kyambogo land
He assured Kyambogo staff that he will help them recover their land which they have lost to investors but reminded them that challenges on staffing as outlined by the university council chairperson John Okedi will only be increased when the resource envelope improves.
There are nine members of the board who will be headed by Prof Callisto Locheng currently at University of Sacred Heart, Gulu.
With the launch of the loan scheme, Education minister Jessica Alupo said she has now accomplished the four assignments the President gave her when she was taking over office and asked the public to exercise honesty by allowing those who can’t afford paying access the scheme.
COMPOSITION OF BOARD
Prof Callisto Locheng
Prof Christine Dranzoa
Mr William Ndoleriire
Mr Mohammed Sserwadda
Stephen Legesi Mwanika
Ms Esther Kyozira