Govt injects Shs40 billion to make Moon university public

The chairperson of Mountains of Moon University council, Dr Ben Manyindo (left), with other education stakeholders at the institution last week. PHOTO/ALEX ASHABA. 

What you need to know:

  • The government will officially take over MMU as a public university on July 1.

The government has earmarked Shs40 billion to fully operationalise Mountains of Moon University (MMU).
This will make the institution in Fort Portal, Kabarole District, the 10th public university effective July 1.

The chairperson of the university council, Mr Ben Manyindo, said all is set for the transition of MMU from a private university to a public institution, adding that the government has already given them staff structures.

He said of Shs40 billion earmarked for the entire process, Shs21 billion will be for payment of wages of new staff while the remaining money will run the university operations.

READ: Govt to fully operationalise Mountains of the Moon University on July 1
“Legally, MMU will be a public university on July 1. We want to thank the government for taking over the university. The university now has a council which also appointed the university appointments board,” Mr Manyindo said at the weekend.

A total of 213 staff (academic, administrative, support staff) at the university were validated by the Ministry of Public Service and 80 percent were retained.
Mr Manyindo said the other staff were not retained because the wage bill and structure could not accommodate them.
“We are still engaging the Ministry of Public Service to expand the structure so that the remaining number of staff can be accommodated,” he said.

Mr Manyindo said during the validation exercise, 95 posts remained vacant because they failed to attract suitable staff.  “Majority of the vacant positions that were not filled are largely academic staff and administrative. The minimum qualification to be a lecturer of a university is a PhD. For those who will be assistant lecturers and teaching staff, the council will support them to meet minimum requirements,” he said.
Mr Manyindo said the university has already appointed the acting vice Chancellor, Prof Pius Coxwell Achanga, to serve up to December. 

Prof Achanga previously worked as the chairperson of the taskforce for the transition.
 “Through the Education ministry, we have requested President Museveni to appoint a chancellor for the university and we are still waiting for the response,” he said. Mr Bob Fred Sifuna, an official from the Ministry of Public Service, said for the new staff who are above 50 years, they will get contractual appointment letters.

“I want to warn the new staff that you need to protect the image of the institution. Before we confirm them, they will first work for a six months’ probation period,” he said.
The university has a total of 2,450 students and the government has offered them 150 slots for sponsored students.
Prof Achanga said the new staff have started receiving appointment letters.

     In January 2019, the Ministry of Education and Sports appointed a four-member Transition Task Force to prepare the institution for conversion to public status within two years. The four member committee include Prof Pius Coxwell Achanga as the chairperson. Since then, the taskforce has been working round the clock for the university takeover.