President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni yesterday announced that the government will take over Busoga University as a public institution. He said that the University loan that amounts to UGX 15 billion will only be paid when the government knows what the money was used for. This was discussed between Gen Museveni, First Lady and officials from Busoga University at Nakasero State Lodge.
Busoga diocese has agreed to hand over Busoga University and its assets to the government as a public institution after a series of meetings that will now see the government take over its 15bn shillings loan, all university land without any encumbrances, and the court case withdrawn without any costs to both parties.
The President had sought assurances that the take over was on condition that the land was free in perpetuity and that the debts were legal.
Museveni was meeting the committee on Government take over of former Busoga University that included former Speaker of Parliament and Minister for East African Affairs Rt. Hon. Rebecca Kadaga, Dr. John Chrysostom Muyingo, the Minister of State for Higher Education, Bishop His Grace Bishop Samuel Stephen Kaziimba Mugalu, and Protestant Bishops. The meeting was also attended by the First Lady and Minister of Education and Sports Janet Kataaha Museveni.
“We must solve a few issues. We must get the land free, in perpetuity. I don’t want to hassle you. Give us the land so that it is government land. We don’t want to buy or rent, because there is no reason to do that. Secondly, there were some debts which of course we shall pay if they are legitimate debts,” he said.
Bishop Kaziimba Mugalu said as a Church, they agree with the position brought forward by retired Bishop Stanley Ntagali and the board of trustees.
“We agreed that the land should be put to good use. We agree that it should be taken free by the government,” he said.
Today the Minister for East African Affairs and Kamuli Woman MP, Ms Rebecca Kadaga, tweeted that an agreement had been reached with the government to take over the university.
“Thanks to @Kaguta Museveni, Archbishop Kaziimba, Busoga Diocese, the dream of Bishop Bamwoze (RIP) lives on, an agreement was concluded for the government to take over Busoga University, citizens get ready for multiplier effect, food, accommodation, stationary,’’ she posted on her Twitter account on Saturday.
The university’s licence was in 2017 revoked by the National Council for Higher Education (NCHE) on grounds that the institution lacked qualified staff, taught uncredited courses and awarded fake degrees to more than 1,000 students, mainly South Sudanese.
Mr Frank Nabwiso, the former Kagoma County MP, welcomed the development saying: “Busoga, up to today, has been one of three Sub-regions including Karamoja and Bunyoro without a public university, which was looking ‘very funny’.’’