Students, Goats Struggle for Space at Kabale Technical Institute

Aspiring Secretary General for Forum for Democratic Change (FDC), ask Nathan Nandala Mafabi has expressed readiness to vigorously guard against any election irregularities in the coming national party elections which might be a big hindrance to his victory.

It should be remembered that after losing to Gen. Mugisha Muntu during the party presidential race, Mafabi cited several election irregularities as the cause for his loss.

“I concede I was defeated by Gen. Muntu and I believe it was never my time but his time to lead the party; if any rigging takes place during the special party delegates conference, we shall deal with it,” Mafabi told the press at his home in Kyambogo in Kampala on Wednesday.

“We shall do whatever it takes to ensure that these elections this time round are free and fair,” Mafabi assured the press.

This comes at a time when the party is handling several election petitions which must be resolved before the party delegates conference convenes on Friday, June 12 so as to elect the party leaders at the national level.

Mafabi denied leading any faction against the party president, observing that if it was the case, members of his camp wouldn’t have remained working within the current administration.

“There are no rifts within the party and any thoughts that I am standing as the party Secretary General with the aim of over shadowing Muntu are all falsehoods.”

“When given the mandate of being the Secretary General (SG), I have no ambitions of overshadowing the president since I am just a worker under him.”


Mafabi reiterated that his decision to stand as the party Secretary General is to energize the party so as to move forward and faster towards the goal of capturing power.

“There is no time for dilly-dallying but to move FDC forward. As party SG, I will join hands with the party leaders to mobilize resources for party and ensure proper accountability and transparency mechanisms are in place,” he added.

“I will make sure that all our party leagues are functional but particularly we shall ensure that these leagues constitute themselves into cooperatives so that apart from party work, they also have a livelihood. By doing so, these leagues will remain vibrant throughout the year.”

He added, “When elected, I will make sure that the party has vibrant and functional district offices as soon as possible, furnished with computers and internet to aid effective dissemination of information from the party headquarters to the grassroots vice versa.”
Despite its being the only government-aided technical institute in Kabale district, there the conditions at Kabale Technical Institute leave less to be desired.

Chimpreports has learnt that the institution that has been in existence since 1951 lacks a lot in order to provide reliable education for the growing number of students.

When one visits the institute premises located on Rutooma hill, discount Nyabikoni ward in Kabale Municipality, he or she may doubt the credibility of the institute.

To some stakeholders, the institute seems to be neglected by the government and relevant authorities in the area.

Edwin Owoyesiga, a student at the institute says the accommodation standards are in an alarming state.

Other than sleeping in classrooms and small, congested rooms, every bed is shared by 2 students which puts their lives at a risk in case of accidents like fire outbreaks.

Phillip Bagambisa, the Head of Building and construction department told ChimpReports that most students lack essential tools for their practical education.

Another challenge raised was the lack of enough shelter for the students as some was seen learning under the scorching sun.

Some of the dilapidated lecture rooms at Kabale Technical Instiute
Some of the dilapidated lecture rooms at Kabale Technical Instiute

Patience Nuwasiimire notes that girls at the institute struggle with the persistent water shortages as they travel long distances to fetch water when there is no water supply from National Water and Sewerage Corporation.

According to Guild Speaker, Seregius Arinaitwe, students feel disappointed over the increasing challenges they face and thus do not feel proud of their institution at all.

“Most of us join this institute for purposes of acquiring technical education so as to overcome the unemployment problem in Uganda. However, the quality of services received here leaves us complaining until we leave this place,” laments Arinaitwe.

The Health of the students is also at a great stake since the institute doesn’t have a well equipped clinic.

“We only offer first aid services here. Serious cases are referred to a private clinic in town that we ally with,” remarks Johnson Sunday, the institute’s clinical officer who was found attending to some students.

Makeshift structures are used as the lecture rooms and departments share workshops.

In the agriculture department, goats and rabbits are reared in a room where carpentry and joinery students practice from.

“The bad odour from the waste products of rabbits and goats leaves us irritated whenever we are doing our work here,” says Charles Mwesigwa, a student of carpentry and joinery with a facial expression that explains the intensity of the problem.

Fred Ahabwe, the institute’s principal, admitted that the institution has more challenges than achievements.

“When compared with other institutes like Nyamitanga Technical Institute in Mbarara, Rukungiri Technical Institute and Kichwamba Technical Institute in Fort portal, Kabale Technical Institute appears invisible although it existed before most of them,” says Ahabwe.

He blames the local politicians for not lobbying for the institute that trains over 350 students from Kabale, Kisoro, Rukungiri, Ntungamo, Rwanda and DRC among other places.

“Kabale has vibrant politicians and ministers in Uganda but it beats one’s understanding to find that none has ever cared to see this place develops,” adds Ahabwe.

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