West Ankole Diocesan Council has approved a new charter streamlining the governance of Ankole Western Institute of Science and Technology (AWIST) project.
In the new charter, which was approved on May 31, the diocese has gained full ownership and control of the project.
In a 39-page charter document, which the Daily Monitor has seen, the current university board of governors and the governing council, will soon be dissolved and new ones will be constituted following guidelines in the new charter.
In the new charter, members of the governing council have been reduced from 24 to 17. The members will be selected by the diocesan council. The charter has also put it clear that only university graduates will be allowed to sit on the council, as opposed to the older charter, which allowed some people of lower education level to be members, depending on their contribution and participation in the university activities.
The seven-man committee, chaired by Mr Marvin Byaruhanga, the diocesan chancellor, was also charged with the task of recommending on how to transform AWIST into Ankole Western University. “On the role of the bishop in the affairs of AWIST, the committee recommended that a sitting bishop be made the titular head (chancellor) of the institution and he should work with the trustees to play the role of chief mobiliser in leading the West Ankole Diocese in building the institution,” the diocesan secretary Rev Arthur Atwine, said at the weekend.
The committee recommended that the diocesan council and the bishop shall exercise their influence over the institution through the Board of Trustees of AWIST, whose role is strategic but not to be involved in the day-to-day management and administration.
Running and management of AWIST is part of the bone of contention among Christians in West Ankole Diocese. Some Christians from Sheema District, where the university campus is located, have petitioned the High Court to block Bishop Yona Mwesigwa Katonene from interfering in the affairs of the Institute. Hearing of the application for the injunction is on June 17, at Mbarara High Court.