1,500 veterinary graduates stuck over lack of licences

Some of the former  students of Kyera Agricultural College at  a press conference in Mbarara City on August 7, 2022. The students say they paid for registration with Uganda Veterinary Board but are yet to get licences. PHOTO | RAJAB MUKOMBOZI

What you need to know:

  • Rising trend. The Uganda Veterinary Board is the profession regulatory body established by an Act of Parliament in 2019 with specific mandate of ensuring the animal health services are offered by qualified, registered and licenced veterinary professionals in the country.
  • The board is appointed by the minister of Agriculture, with approval of Cabinet. 

About 1,500 former students of Kyera Agricultural College in Mbarara City can’t find employment due to lack of practising certificates from the Uganda Veterinary Board (UVB).

The affected students have since 2010 been awarded diplomas in Animal Production and Management at the college.

This means that they cannot be allowed to work both in government and private institutions.

Under their umbrella body, Kyera Alumni Association (KAA), the graduates told Daily Monitor in an interview that National Drug Authority has closed the veterinary drug shops they had opened up due to lack of practising licences.

“To secure a job or even practise, you have to possess a practicing certificate from Uganda Veterinary Board (UVB) but our former institution (Kyera) has not formalised registration with UVB,” Mr Patrick Nuwamanya, the chairperson of KAA, said on Sunday.

The students say they paid for registration with UVB but the institution hasn’t registered them.

“I had opened up a veterinary drug shop at Harugongo in Fort Portal but when I went back in 2021 to NDA to renew my operational licence, they told me I have to first register with UVB. When I went to UVB after paying the registration fees, I was surprised that our institution had not formalised their registration with them,” Mr Nuwamanya said.

Mr Pastori Kamya, another graduate, said he was denied an opportunity to work as an assistant veterinary officer in Sembabule District because he had no practicing licence from UVB.

“I missed an opportunity to get a job and I am now just idle,” he said.

Mr Gilbert Amutuhaire, another graduate, said NDA closed his drug shop in Kabuswere, Kashongi Sub-county, Kiruhura District.

“I have twice been rescued by my employer at a farm in Kiruhura where I am temporarily volunteering; NDA operatives had come to arrest me that I was a quack but he (my employer) saved me because he insisted I knew what I was practicing,” he said.

NDA communications manager Abiaz Rwamwiri insisted that without a practicing licence from Uganda Veterinary Board, no one is allowed to run a veterinary drug store or practice.

When contacted, Kyera acting principal John Patrick Mutagubya blamed the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries for failing to institute a new board to follow up on the registration process.

“We had started all the processes of formalising our registration with UVB, but the process was hampered by Covid-19 lockdown, and the board that was in place at that time expired. Until a new board is instituted, the process can then be finalised,” he said.

The State Minister for Animal Industry, Mr Bright Rwamirama, said a new board will be in place by the end of this week and called for patience.  

“UVB is a regulatory board in the ministry, the good news is that we have finalised the Bill to legalise the board and we also secured a certificate of financial implications from the ministry of Finance, we don’t have hurdles anymore,” he said. He added: 

“Before the close of business this week, we will have a new board in place and running, the office is being provided and the budget is also in place. And all these concerns, including vet para-professionals in the country, will be addressed.”

Welcome!

You're all set to enjoy unlimited Prime content.