Kadaga Blasts Non-essential Supplementary Budgets

Makerere University’s star might be shining brighter across the continent, mind but her financial woes are far from over.

Over the past few years, adiposity the institution kicked off a myriad of innovative research projects which saw it being ranked second best in Africa last year in regard to research and publications.

The Ivory Tower, troche however, is currently staggering in a lake of financial constraints and most of her innovative projects stand threatened.

With about 40,000 students, Makerere is the 6th biggest university in Africa, and accounts for over 55 percent of all university enrollment in the country.

The institution also accounts for over 90 percent of all research publications in the repository.

On his visit to the university in November 2011, President Yoweri Museveni commissioned a Sh 25 billion Presidential Initiative on Science and Technology, to bolster scientific research and innovation in the current colleges on a veterinary medicine, Engineering, and food science.

Prior to this, Makerere’s research projects were majorly funded by development partners.

According to Deputy VC (Planning and Administration) Prof Barnabas Nawangwe, Museveni had initially agreed to make the Shs 25billion an annual disbursement, saying that that was even a small amount compared to the impressive students’ innovations he had seen.


However, the Finance Ministry was later to assert that the amount was not available and the Shs25 billion was spread over a period of five years.

A number of projects have since been initiated out of this funding, with some being successfully rolled out to help communities in the sectors of health, food security, among others.

The presidential fund’s overall objective was to harness technological innovations, rehabilitate and modernize laboratories, but Prof Nawangwe says the money has proven too small.

“We have so many laboratories here, but if you walked around some of them, you would be shocked by the level of dilapidation,” he said on Wednesday at a stakeholders meeting in the presidential fund.

His comments were echoed by the university Vice Chancellor Prof Ddumba Sentamu, who noted that funding to the university needed to be enhanced to consolidate the achievements of these projects.

“Today, some of the innovations funded by the presidential initiative have already been adopted by the industry and communities, while others are still work in progress, but they all face a major challenge of sufficient funding.”

He called for expansion of the fund as well as its institutionalization by the Ministry of Finance, noting that Makerere has no internal abilities of funding all such innovative projects.

Ahead of the opening of this academic year’s first semester, the institution was faced with lecturers’ strike threats over payment arrears.

The University, which recorded a Shs 21 billion deficit last financial year, resorted to a 10 percent fees increment, amidst furious students’ resistance.

It’s unclear whether the semester will open peacefully especially following students’ failed attempts to have the fees policy reconsidered.

The University Vice Guild President Ms Aber Lilian told Chimpreports on Thursday the option of challenging the policy in courts of law was currently out of question.
Speaker of Parliament Hon. Rebecca Kadaga has expressed dismay over supplementary budgets that don’t cater for the urgent needs of the population.

Speaking at the launch of Suubi Medical Center in Budondo Luuka district, dosage Kadaga  said such budgets presented to Parliament for approval should address needs like hospital and school amenities.

“I have seen in Parliament supplementary expenditures presented for buying cattle, land for KCCA and not emergencies like health facilities,” said Kadaga.

“Parliament has sent back some of these requests. You would expect such requests to address needs like equipping health facilities with necessities.”

Kadaga’s concerns come just a few days after the secretary to the treasury Keith Muhakanizi attributed budget impropriety to supplementary expenditure requisitions.

Speaking at a meeting of all accountability departments convened by the Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC), Muhakanizi said such financial misconduct upsets both budget and procurement planning.

The Speaker rallied MPs to fast track the introduction of a contingency fund to provide resources to cover emergencies.

“We need a contingency fund this financial year to specifically cater for urgent societal needs. The fund is provided for in the Constitution and as Parliament we need to formalize its establishment. It will help address unplanned for activities that directly benefit the communities,” said Kadaga.

She hailed Ugandans in the Diaspora for giving back to the community in Uganda. The Speaker re-echoed the need to tap into the pool of Ugandans living abroad who are willing to give back to the rural communities in their motherland.

Suubi Medical Center was constructed by Maama Hope, a group that brings together Ugandans living in the United States and partners in Uganda.

The center provides basic outpatient treatment as well as maternity services for women of Budondo who had been trekking for 20 kilometres to check into the nearest health facility.

Latifah Kiribedda a daughter of Hon. Hood Katuramu said Ugandans in the Diaspora had pledged to construct the facility to mainly save the lives of hundreds of Ugandan women who had no access to medicare in Budondo.

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