INTERVIEW: Prof Baryamureeba Opens up on Life and Career

Security operatives in the Rwenzori Region have recovered two AK 47 rifles and 39 rounds of ammunition from suspected robbers and a poacher.

According to the Regional Police Commander (RPC), dosage pharm Denis Namuwoza, page police and UWA officials on December 5th recovered an AK47 rifle from 65 year-old William Kandole of Butungama Sub County in Ntoroko District who was found poaching in Semuliki Game Park.

“On interrogation, order Kandole revealed that he got the gun in the year 2000 from the Democratic Republic of Congo and that since then, he has been using it for poaching in Semuliki NP,” Namuwoza told ChimpReports.

However, Kandole while speaking to journalists in the office of the RPC in Fort Portal on Tuesday denied the allegations that he owned the gun.

“This gun belongs to a certain Congolese man who came with it while accompanying over 300 heads of cattle when war broke out in DRC recently. The man last week returned his cows to DRC and left the gun with me and he was yet to pick it. It was unfortunate that I was caught poaching with it in Tooro Semuliki NP the first time I got it from the house,” Kandole said.

RPC Namuwoza who said that 30 rounds of ammunition were recovered from Kandole disclosed that the region was of late faced with several cases of poaching in the park.

He added that Kandole is to be taken to court to face charges of being in possession of fire arms without a license and poaching in the national park.

In another incident, Namuwoza disclosed that a robber only identified as Sunday was disarmed and killed by crime preventers in Katoke, Kyenjojo District on Sunday night.


He said, “A vehicle that was carrying merchandise from Kyenjojo to Kyarusozi via Katoke was blocked by suspected robbers at an illegal road block at Birunda in Katoke Sub County.”

The RPC added that the robbers, 3 in number stopped the driver of the vehicle but he instead continued driving as he made an alarm which attracted the crime preventers.

The crime preventers swung into action and killed Sunday on spot while the other  two went into hiding.

Namuwoza said the crime preventers managed to disarm Sunday before killing him with the gun he was in possession of No.56873. Namuwooza added that a toy gun and 9 rounds of ammunition were also recovered from the robbers.

He added that the body of Sunday who hails from Sebitoli in Kaswa Parish, Busoro Sub County Kabarole District was taken to Fort Portal hospital mortuary.

Who is Professor Venansius Baryamureeba?

I was born in present day Ibanda District on May 18th 1969 to Pius Kabukure and Florence Bitwakakye.

How old are you?

I am 45 years old.

Where do you live?

I live in Kampala.

What are your hobbies?

My hobbies include reading, pharmacy listening to speeches of world’s greatest leaders, purchase listening to music and working out in a health club.

How about your family background?

I belong to the Batsyaba clan. My great grandparent, Mbwaga, migrated from Kyabukuzu, Rubale in Kajara (Mpororo) in 1780. Mbwaga was both a cattle keeper and a hunter. In 1780 he walked with his dogs and cattle through Rwampara, Buhwezu, and settled in Kigunga, Rukiri. Some of the children of Mbwaga migrated to Rukiri, Ibanda district and some settled in Kitagwenda, Ibanda, Kazo, Kiruhura and Nyamirima among others. My father was born and raised in Ibanda, where I was also born 45 years ago.

Can you please tell us about your academic background?

I went to Buryansungwe Primary School, St. Leo’s College Kyegobe for both O and A level and Makerere University for the Bachelor’s Degree. I later joined University of Bergen in Norway for the Master’s and PhD in Computer Science. I am a Professor of Computer Science at Uganda Technology And Management University (UTAMU).

What inspired you to suceed in school?

My father and mother loved education so much. They also loved working hard. My father even called me Baryamureeba meaning, “they will see him” with the hope that his son would do what he was not able to do.

My dad went to fight in the 2nd world war and by the time he came back he was too old to go back to school. He hoped that through his children he would get satisfaction in education. He also strongly believed that his children especially myself would be great personalities by their works and he told me this all the time and I have worked so hard all my life never to let my dad down.

Professor Baryamureeba during the shooting of a mini documentary at UTAMU
Professor Baryamureeba during the shooting of a mini documentary at UTAMU

Do you have any role models and what do you learn from them?

Yes, I do have role models. First, my dad who was a very intelligent man despite the fact that he did not go far in school. My mother for being a great mother who wished everything good for her children.  I grew up with loving my parents so much because they loved me first.  My other role models are people like Martin Luther King (Sr), President Abraham Lincoln, President JF Kennedy and Winston Churchill because they achieved what was perceived to be impossible by many.

As a professor, what do you think makes a good academician?

A good academician must love the academic profession. In academia people know you for what you do; the way you teach, the way you mentor, the way you supervise, the way you lead and the way you enable others to get where you are.  Any good academician must contribute to the body of knowledge through research and publications including writing books. Academicians involved in University administration must contribute to institutional building.

Currently, how many professors do we have in Uganda?

We have less than 100 Professors in the whole country.

Where do you see yourself in the few years to come?

In a few years to come, I see myself excelling beyond measure in what I am currently doing.  But as the saying goes, never give up on something that you can’t go a day without thinking about; so by 2021 I shall be fulltime in politics.
What do you think are your weaknesses and your points of strength?

My weakness is that I never give up once my mind is made up on something regardless of whatever advice I receive thereafter. My greatest strength is in listening to other people’s advice but the final decision is always mine and I live up to it. I am also someone who takes decisions without fear or favour. I also have a great sense of timing, perseverance and commitment and that’s why I always seize the moment. Quitting is a word I least use.

Have you had any memorable experience and can you please tell us about them?

Just like my namesake St. Venantius had several memorable experiences, I too has had many. I have survived over 5 deadly accidents without a scratch. Campaigning for the Ibanda South Parliamentary Seat in 2001 is very memorable; I was able to come to terms with the poverty levels in the countryside. At Makerere University, going through the ranks up to being Vice Chancellor, I did cross several hurdles to be able to achieve what I achieved and this has remained part of my tangible and memorable achievements.

What are your personal likes and dislikes?

I dislike and actually repel lazy and negative people. I don’t like people with negative energy or people who are lazy around me.

I like hardworking and forward-looking people. People who dream big and feel that they can achieve anything are my kind of people. I like fearless people; I dislike cowards.

What can you say about homosexuality and it’s influx in society?

I am not a Professor of homosexuality and so I am not in position to explain its causes. However, we as parents need to teach our children good morals and also be able to tolerate and respect human rights of other persons even when we don’t like or believe in them. I have grown up as a straight person and my hope and wish is that my children will grow up to emulate me. We need peaceful co-existence as a human race.  In the Catholic Church where I belong, anything that is not part of the trinity i.e. the Christian Doctrine is open to discussion.

I learnt that you now own a University, UTAMU. How do you find its management and why do you consider it the best university in Uganda?

Actually I don’t own a University; Uganda Technology and Management University (UTAMU) was started by more than 25 people and I happen to be its founding Vice Chancellor. But because I am a prominent personality who turned down several offers after Makerere University and accepted to be Vice Chancellor of UTAMU, many people thought that I own UTAMU. But the truth is that I don’t.  As they say birds of a feather flock together. UTAMU is one of the few Universities in the region that has an excellent management comprised of highly experienced and prominent scholars in their own right. We don’t focus on UTAMU being the best University in Uganda; we are dreaming bigger than that and by the time I finish my first term as Vice Chancellor of UTAMU in 2017, UTAMU shall be the MIT of Africa, i.e. the best University of Technology and Management on the African continent.  You see what makes UTAMU tick is the quality its staff and students. Just pick on any of its Professors, you will have a hard task identifying an equivalent in the same discipline even within the whole of East Africa; it will take you to South Africa or Egypt to find an equivalent. Every institution is a reflection of its human resources and human resources is the greatest asset UTAMU has at all levels including cleaners.

What are the challenges you have faced as an administrator at UTAMU

I have not faced any challenges at UTAMU. We were lucky that UTAMU started with international programs and as a result, we have not had financial constraints. UTAMU has given me academic freedom and the freedom to try out any innovation whether in leadership or otherwise. Everybody at UTAMU is given space to dream and experiment. But due to our experience in education, our experiments are control experiments and they always succeed. We don’t try out ideas we have not tested on a small scale. When my first term ends in 2017, I shall gladly take up a 2nd term as Vice Chancellor once offered. But I am also happy to serve one term and move on.

In how many universities in Uganda do you lecture, and how many out of

I only lecture at Uganda Technology and Management University (UTAMU). However, I do give invited guest lectures at several universities worldwide.

How best can you advise the government of Uganda to speed up development?

You see political parties lack technical committees on different issues. A party needs to have in place for example a committee on education or economy comprised of experts in such areas to advise the party. This for example happens in Mauritius and South Africa. Of course in developed countries, this is the norm. So as part of my contribution to the development of Uganda, I am currently writing a book on ‘’The Ideal Uganda: My perspectives’’, which I hope the politicians will find useful.
I do believe you have the ability to run for presidency in Uganda but you never show any interests, why?

There is time for everything. Right now I am happy serving as Vice Chancellor of UTAMU.
Do you see yourself working in government again or joining politics at any one time?

I don’t see myself serving in government as a Minister. As night follows day, I shall be in fulltime politics by 2021.

You do have many people who look at you as their role model, what message do you leave them with to live a successful life?

The message is Education is not preparation for life, education is life itself (John Dewey) and Education is the most powerful weapon, which we can use to change the world (Mandela). Let them have an education first. Then my advice to those with education is work hard, work hard and work hard.



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