Busoga welcomes govt takeover of university

Monday July 19 2021
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Busoga University Jinja City campus. Leaders in Busoga Sub-region have welcomed a move by government to turn Busoga University into a public institution. PHOTO/TAUSI NAKATO

By Tausi Nakato

Leaders in Busoga Sub-region have welcomed the move by government to turn Busoga University into a public institution.
The Minister for East African Affairs and Kamuli Woman MP, Ms Rebecca Kadaga, tweeted that an agreement had been reached with the government to take over the university.

“Thanks to @Kaguta Museveni, Archbishop Kaziimba, Busoga Diocese, the dream of Bishop Bamwoze (RIP) lives on, an agreement was concluded for the government to take over Busoga University, citizens get ready for multiplier effect, food, accommodation, stationary,’’ she posted on her Twitter account on Saturday.

The university’s licence was in 2017 revoked by the National Council for Higher Education (NCHE) on grounds that the institution lacked qualified staff, taught uncredited courses and awarded fake degrees to more than 1,000 students, mainly South Sudanese.

Mr Frank Nabwiso, the former Kagoma County MP, welcomed the development saying: “Busoga, up to today, has been one of three Sub-regions including Karamoja and Bunyoro without a public university, which was looking ‘very funny’.’’ 

He added: “The killing of Busoga University means Bamwoze’s dream had died with him. But when the government says it has taken over, it has in a way resurrected Bamwoze as one of the founders. It is a victory for the Church of Uganda as a whole,’’ he said.

Mr Peter Okocha Kasolo, the Jinja City Mayor, said:  “We have seen areas like Gulu and Mbarara develop because of the public universities there. I urge others to support our university by taking our children there. I will personally upgrade from there,’’ he said.

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Mr Andrew Ntange, the Busoga Kingdom spokesperson, thanked President Museveni for fulfilling a government pledge of taking over the university.

In 2018, the government established a committee to spearhead the process of taking over Busoga University.
Mr Patrick Kayemba, the former Iganga District chairperson, who is also a member on the transition committee, said residents of Busoga should start planning on how to benefit from the opportunities of a public university.

Mr Kayemba said the transitional committee held a meeting at State House Nakasero on Saturday and agreed that the government takes over the university.

According to Mr Kayemba, the AG will do validation from July 1, 2016 to December 2017 when the university’s licence was revoked because other years were already audited. 

Mr Kayemba added that everything would be implemented through a Memorandum of Understanding between the Church of Uganda and the government.

The MoU, Mr Kayemba revealed, will also pave way for the withdrawal of all cases that the university had instituted against the NCHE, and also dissolve Busoga University Limited which couldn’t be done when the university was indebted according to the Company Act 2012.

“Upon takeover, the first priority will be given to the students who were eligible for admission before the license was revoked and those who had finished their studies but had not yet graduated. The taskforce will handle that issue,’’ he said.

Takeover
According to Mr Kayemba, the AG will do validation from July 1, 2016 to December 2017 when the university’s license was revoked because other years were already audited. 

Mr Kayemba added that everything will be implemented through a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Church of Uganda and government.

The MoU, Mr Kayemba revealed, will also pave way for the withdrawal of all cases that the university had instituted against the NCHE, and also dissolve Busoga University Limited which couldn’t be done when the university was indebted according to the Company Act.

“Upon takeover, the first priority will be given to the students who were eligible for admission before the license was revoked and those who had finished their studies but had not yet graduated,’’ he siad.

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