Tension has again rocked Ankole Western Institute of Science and Technology (AWIST), view http://contenthog.com/pr/wp-content/plugins/jetpack/modules/widgets.php a West Ankole diocese University project located in Kabwohe, Sheema district following a disagreement between Bishop Katonene and Prof. Ephraim Kamuntu over the governance of the conflict torn institute.
It is reported that Bishop Katonene who is the University Chancellor wrote to the Chairman University Council Prof. Kamuntu, asking him to serenely hand over the office to the new governing council, which Prof. Kamuntu declined.
The letter, dated 27 February 2015 addressed to Prof Kamuntu was inviting him and his council members for a formal farewell function after their service to the institution.
The letter which chimp corps accessed read: “Following a meeting we had with the National council for Higher Education on Wednesday February 18 2015, at Kyambogo, I am writing to invite you and all members of the old AWIST/AWU governing council and board of directors for a formal farewell ceremony. We will use this opportunity to express our gratitude and appreciation to you and all the old members as we bid farewell. This function has been accordingly prepared to take place on March 14th 2015, at AWIST campus in Kabwohe,”the letter read
AWIST/AWU, whose location and governance has been in question for over three years was being run by two governing councils since last year, the old one chaired by Prof. Kamuntu and the new one chaired by Prof. Elly Katunguka who was confirmed by the 9th synod.
In response, Prof Kamuntu wrote to the Chancellor, informing him to the matters of the university had been forwarded to the office of the President whose guidance is still awaited and therefore he would not respect the invitation.
Prof. Kamuntu’s letter to Katoneene read, “The matter of the university project was discussed in the consultative meeting with National Council for Higher Education (NCHE) with a view to advice the president on the same matter. Consequently in light of the above, the governing council is constrained to hand over under these circumstances and therefore, will not be able to join you in the ceremony to bid farewell to the council.”
Kamuntu added that the governance issue is before the High Court of Uganda civil suit No. 42 of 2014 and court has not yet given its verdict.
On Saturday 14th which was the day of the highly anticipated handover, Bishop Katonene learnt that Prof. Kamuntu and his colleagues were not part of the ceremony and he decided to call off the function.
Police officers from Bushenyi were seen deployed at the university where the function was planned to be held but were later seen leaving after a call from Katonene telling them how the function could not continue.
On the same day, Prof. Kamuntu who is the minister for Water and environment had a function in Kitagata Sub County in Sheema south where he was commissioning a water supply project which he attended with the health minister, Dr. Elioda Tumwesigye, who is on the new governing council of AWIST.
Also on Saturday, the concerned Christians had gathered in the premises of the institute to block the handover ceremony and after hearing that the function had been called off; they held a meeting at St. Emmanuel Church of Uganda at Kabwohe to plan for the future of their reverends that had been transferred to Sheema.
While speaking to chimp corps on phone on Monday, Bishop Katonene said that the function was called off because of the AWIST principal; Can. Dr. Edidah Mujinya connived with members of the old committee and declined to make arrangements for the function.
“The principal connived with some members of the old council and refused to make preparations for a farewell ceremony. Otherwise we had agreed to make a farewell party for the old council in appreciation of what they did and on Saturday, some guests had travelled from Kampala coming for the ceremony but I asked them to go back,” said Katonene