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Over 500 UMI graduands graduate without gowns

By Cecilia Okoth

Added 31st May 2019 12:34 PM

Their hopes of getting the gowns remained futile seeing as there were no signs of the supplier coming to their rescue. Some resorted to wearing the graduation hood alone.

Over 500 UMI graduands graduate without gowns

Their hopes of getting the gowns remained futile seeing as there were no signs of the supplier coming to their rescue. Some resorted to wearing the graduation hood alone.

More than five hundred graduands at Uganda Management Institute's 17th graduation ceremony held yesterday graduated without gowns. This was caused by the supplier's delay to deliver the remaining gowns of the total of more than 3000.

The lot of graduands that missed out was seen early morning on graduation day stranded at the institute's Human Resource office demanding that their gowns be availed.

Their hopes of getting the gowns remained futile seeing as there were no signs of the supplier coming to their rescue. Some resorted to wearing the graduation hood alone.

Saturday Vision viewed a notice for gowns issued on May 21st but the institutions administration maintains that notification was dome way earlier.

 

Whereas many suppliers of gowns were allowed to sell gowns at the institute in the previous graduation ceremonies, the institute this time round contracted a sole supplier to make customized gowns for the institute's golden jubilee celebrations.

Some students were seen flexing for a batch of gowns that had been delivered at around 10am because they were not enough. This was just minutes to the ceremony.

A source at the institute that preferred anonymity said the supplier was contracted without a bidding process. This they claim was done by some top officials in management. 

 

By the time the graduation ceremony started, many still had not obtained their gowns and decided to walk away. Those that stayed just sat in the tents without their gowns. There were many visible empty seats as a result of the debacle.

Peter Kibazo, the Public Relations Manager at UMI said that much as the gown crisis was of great magnitude yesterday, it wasn't strange as some cases have been registered in the previous graduation ceremonies.

"The numbers this year have been overwhelming but we have had some few cases before. Usually the graduands are about 1000. We gave the supplier an order according to the number of people that had registered for graduation by the deadline which was about two months ago. But people were paying for gowns even yesterday. So if someone pays one day to graduation, how quickly would you expect the supplier to make the gowns?" he argued.

 
 He emphasized that the problem came about because the graduands did not follow the deadline of registration which was announced in the newspapers about two months ago.

"When more came in after the deadline, we had two options. To either stop them for registering or put the supplier on pressure to deliver more gowns in time. We had to tell him to increase the number of gowns that even yesterday, he supplied 200 gowns but they were still not enough. But those were for people that paid this week," he explained.

However, one of the graduands disagreed with Kibazo's explanations. "I am one of the people that paid so early but the truth is that the supplier delayed to deliver. They would only bring in like 20, then 5, then 10 gowns at a time. I recall one day I left work and found about 100 people fighting for 10 gowns. I therefore chose not to attend the graduation ceremony," they revealed.

 



A service provider doing photography told Saturday Vision that the failure of students to obtain gowns in time caused their business big losses. "We had to beg some students to help us with their gowns so their colleagues would take pictures in them. This however didn't save the situation at all," they said.

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