‘Residents blocking varsity expansion’

Monday January 11 2016

Business Administration students jubiliate

Business Administration students jubiliate during the graduation at Gulu University campus in Gulu Municipality last Saturday. Photo by Julius Ocungi. 

By Julius Ocungi

Gulu. Gulu University Vice Chancellor Prof Jack Nyeko Pen-mogi has faultedn locals in the district for frustrating the expansion of the university’s main campus by refusing to offer land for expansion.
Prof Pen-Mogi made the remark at the 11th graduation ceremony at the university’s main campus in Laroo Division, Gulu Municipality, last Saturday.
He said refusal by the locals to offer land has affected the establishment of many projects at the university that was opened in 2002.

The university at the moment occupies 20 hectares of land formerly belonging to the District Farm Institute. “We had identified 1,700 hectares of land around the main campus, but
the locals have refused to offer land despite willingness by government to compensate them,” he said.

He added: “There are people who are opposing our move to expand by refusing to offer us land. This is unfair, even Makerere University, which is now a great institution, was offered land by the locals,” Prof Pen-Mogi said.
He said plans to build a university hospital for students pursuing Medicine has failed because there is no land.

Prof Pen-Mogi attributed the resistance in giving land to the university to influence by some politicians in the district. In 2009, land owners within the Gulu University main campus under their association dragged the institution to court protesting against forceful intention to take their land.

A total of 1,359 students graduated in various disciplines. Prof Pen-mogi advised them to be job creators rather than job seekers.
The university chancellor, Prof Frederick Kayanja, who presided over the graduation, said land is key to the university’s development.