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MUBS to be probed on cash

By Vision Reporter

Added 27th November 2003 03:00 AM

THE Ministry of Finance is to institute a probe into the management of funds at the Makerere University Business School (MUBS), state minister Mwesigwa Rukutana said yesterday.

THE Ministry of Finance is to institute a probe into the management of funds at the Makerere University Business School (MUBS), state minister Mwesigwa Rukutana said yesterday.

By John Kakande
THE Ministry of Finance is to institute a probe into the management of funds at the Makerere University Business School (MUBS), state minister Mwesigwa Rukutana said yesterday.

Appearing before the social services committee, Rukutana said MUBS was experiencing a cash flow problem due to poor management and not inadequacy of funds.

“We are going to set up a special audit for MUBS. What is it they are doing with the money? Why should students be sent to the streets? What happens to the money we release to them?” a furious Rukutana asked. He said MUBS students were instigated to strike by the school’s administration.

The five-hour meeting characterised by hard-talk was attended by education minister Dr Khiddu Makubuya, ministers of state Namirembe Bitamazire and Dr Beatrice Wabudeya, education PS F.X. Lubanga, Makerere University vice-chancellor Prof. John Ssebuwufu and deputy Prof. Epelu Opio, University Council chairperson Gabriel Opio and MUBS principal Wasswa Balunywa.

MP Dr Richard Bulamu accused Makubuya of having a “bad hand or intention” in the MUBS saga. This was after Makubuya requested for six months to sort out MUBS legal status.

“It has been rumoured that Dr. Makubuya wants to set up another university in Buganda, yet the next public university has to be in the east,” charged Bulamu, adding that Makubuya was deliberately letting the MUBS saga drag on. Makubuya listened attentively without reacting but later said the law disempowered him. Besides the students strike, the committee, presided over by Dorothy Hyuha, summoned education and finance ministers, Makerere University and MUBS officials to establish the school’s legal status and its relation to Makerere.

MPs asked Ssebuwufu and Balunywa about suspected ghost students which they both denied.

Seated between Prof. Ssebuwufu and Gabriel Opio, Balunywa, who faced a barrage of questions, was calm all through. But he said before the meeting, he overheard Rukutana refer to MUBS officials as “thugs” while talking to a journalist, which he said was unfortunate.

MPs took Balunywa to task when he failed to give the exact figure of government-sponsored students at the school. MPs queried his management competence.

He promised to submit the information later, but said funds for 457 government-sponsored students was not forthcoming.

Rukutana said the sh2.9b approved by Parliament and released to MUBS was enough to cater for 1,090 students. He insisted that the finance ministry did not owe MUBS any money. The same view was held by Lubanga who said the school was expected to top up the sh2.9b.

Earlier, Prof. Opio, the chairperson of the universities joint admissions board, said records indicated there were 1,040 government-sponsored students at MUBS.
Ssebuwufu said it was illegal for MUBS to continue using the name “Makerere University” when it is independent.

“We do not want to be seen to be in the way of MUBS. Feel free to give MUBS what it wants,” said Ssebuwufu when asked whether MUBS should be a constituent college or independent institution affiliated to MUK.

“If MUBS is independent, it should not use our letterheads,” he said.

Balunywa declined to say whether he wanted MUBS to become an independent public university.

Ssebuwufu defended the Ministry of Finance on the shs2.4m for each government student at MUBS.

He said the students were in the category of “talk and chalk”, or “low-cost”, unlike some at MUK and Mbarara University studying medicine and other expensive courses categorised as “practical intensive.”
Ends

MUBS to be probed on cash

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