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Rugunda calls for calm at Kabale University

By Racheal Nabisubi

Added 25th November 2016 03:50 PM

Kabale University was converted into a public university in 2015 and since then, strikes have been rampant

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Kabale University was converted into a public university in 2015 and since then, strikes have been rampant

Prime Minister Dr Ruhakana Rugunda has asked disgruntled teaching and nonteaching staff of Kabale University to be calm saying Government will find means of resolving their grievances.

This comes at a time when strikes resulting from irregularities, unpaid salaries for 8 months and inclusion on the government payroll, as the university transitions from a private to a public institution.

He said government organs will be drawn in to attend to their grievances but only asked them to be articulate in explaining them and also to be patient as government investigates and resolves them.

"We don't want to tear the University apart by this group pulling the other side and the other to the other side. We started this institution to address educational needs of this region so if we fight we shall have no University" he cautioned.

Rugunda made the remarks while meeting some leaders and lecturers of Kabale University with other stakeholders at George Kanyeihamba's residence in Buziga-Kampala.

Kanyeihamba the outgoing University Chancellor, who is also one of the founding members, complained that the University had been converted to a public one illegally and without consulting on the matter.

Kabale University which was established as a private university under part XVII of the Universities and other Tertiary Institutions Act 2001 was converted into a public university under Statutory Instrument 2015 No.36 on 16th July 2015.

It started in 2002 as a community institution.

Rugunda said he supports the move to turn Kabale University public saying it is easy to be managed but said they will sit and explain fully to founders who wanted Kabale University to remain private and convince them to back it in its present status.

Dr. Joseph Tindyebwa the chairperson University Professional Academic Staff Union (UPASU) and Stephen Rugumabanju, chairperson Kabale University Academic Staff Association complained that the validation exercise that was conducted recently allegedly unfairly victimized some of their colleagues for which caused the prevalent strikes.

Also in attendance were the former university secretary Kennedy Rwaboona and the former bursar William Koruragire who were validated and re-appointed but declined the appointments claiming that they were demoted. They have dragged the university to court.

However, in a separate interview the vice chancellor Prof Joy Kwesiga said the validation exercise was conducted professionally and in accordance with both the public service and National Council for Higher Education guidelines.

Kwesiga said the exercise was conducted after constituting University organs lawfully and rubbished claims that she has been running the university with sectarianism tendencies.

"University operations are based on ideas and quality of service not on faiths. We are not going to appoint primary seven drop outs to top university organs because we want to have representation of people of all faith" she stated.

Kwesiga said they have a student enrolment of 3000 and recently President Yoweri Museveni graced their graduation where 2000 students graduated in different fields of study.

Kabale University campus is situated on Kikungiri Hill in Kabale Municipality on 52 hectares (130 acres) of land donated by the Kabale district administration. 

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