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Government sends audit team to Busoga University

By John Masaba

Added 19th February 2019 04:47 PM

President Museveni ordered the takeover of the university last year after it was closed for lack of minimum standards by National Council of Higher Education (NCHE).

Government sends audit team to Busoga University

President Museveni ordered the takeover of the university last year after it was closed for lack of minimum standards by National Council of Higher Education (NCHE).

Busoga University is in a process of being taken over as a public institution that is headed by Higher Education Minister JC Muyingo (above). Photo/File

EDUCATION


IGANGA - The government of Uganda has dispatched a team of auditors to the Busoga University as it moves to establish an inventory of the university's assets and liabilities ahead of the planned takeover.

The team from the Auditor General's office, which started work last week, will also seek to establish the university's financial management, staffing and student population records.

Aggrey Kibenge, the undersecretary in the ministry of education, told New Vision that the audit is part of recommendations of a committee spearheading the processes of taking over of the university as a public institution that is headed by Higher Education Minister JC Muyingo.

President Museveni ordered the takeover of the university last year after it was closed for lack of minimum standards by National Council of Higher Education (NCHE). The closure took place in 2017. 

"If there are any loans owed by the university, what was the money used for? What was the status of the courses the university was offering? Had they been accredited by the NCHE? All these have to be established," Kibenge said.

In a January 8, 2018 letter to Education Minister Janet Museveni, the president said takeover of the university by government was necessary to rescue the university. 

In addition to Busoga University, the president also ordered that the takeover be extended to the Fort Portal based Mountains of Moon University, which was also facing financial challenges.

By press time, however, while the latter has now already been taken over, completing the takeover of Busoga University is a long way off, according to sources.

This has thrown the future of 3,000 students that the university had at the time of closure into uncertainty. 

Explaining the development, Kibenge said that unlike Mountain of Moon University, the takeover of Busoga University was complicated by the revocation of the university's licence two years ago, which resulted in the university being closed. 

As such, he said, the Takeover Committee has required a lot of time to scrutinize the university's paper work. "As we speak, the committee's term has even been extended for another six months by the president in order for them to complete the work," he said.  

He revealed that they're working to ease the pain on the stranded students by transferring them to other universities. The government will meet the bill of their tuition. 

Godfrey Baisi, a Busoga university official, welcomed the development, saying: "It is a clear sign we are moving in the right direction."

Bitter row

Closed by NCHE, the university has since been embroiled in a bitter war of words with the agency.

Last month, officials of the university petitioned NCHE asking them to reconsider the closure of the university, citing gross irregularities in the process leading up to the revocation of its operating licence.

In a letter addressed to the chairperson of NCHE, and copied to Minister Janet Museveni, Baisi said new evidence they had unearthed showed that NCHE's executive director Prof. Opuda Asibo, with malice, single-handedly executed the revocation of the University's licence, breaching the Universities and Other Tertiary Institutions Act 2001.

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