Crime & Investigation

Tumwebaze: Makerere Must Face a Forensic Audit

ICT Minister Tumwebaze speaking to the media in Kampala recently (Photo: Kenneth Kazibwe/ChimpReports)

Pressure is mounting on Makerere University Administration under Vice Chancellor Prof Ddumba-Sentamu to explain the institution’s unending financial crisis, mind http://conversionxl.com/wp-content/plugins/jetpack/class.json-api.php with ICT Minister Frank Tumwebaze expressing worry that something is seriously wrong.

“Whatever opportunistic politics some circles and actors are trying to put up around Makerere, check http://cusanus-studierende.de/wp-includes/feed-rss.php let’s us not get diverted from understanding the core problem. The question of how money generated from fees-paying students, buy information pills http://cdcsmiles.com/wp-content/plugins/contact-form-7/includes/upgrade.php is spent remains the million dollar question,” Tumwebaze told ChimpReports on Thursday.

“If private institutions (Private universities and schools) without any subsidy from government, can rely only on fees generated to pay well and on time their lecturers/ teachers and other staff, use the same to put up infrastructure at their campuses, fund research and above all pay back dividends to their proprietors, where exactly does Makerere put the money it generates, since it doesn’t spend on most of the above areas?”

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Tumwebaze’s remarks come high on the heels of Makerere dons’ concerns that the university resources are being abused with impunity.

MUASA said in a letter to the University Council that efforts to better the lives of staff at public universities is now being undermined through the “University Management’s inept and inefficient management of internally generated funds and failure of Council to exercise oversight even where there is glaring evidence of mismanagement.”

MUASA cited the mismanagement of retirement savings, scandalous collapse of the perimeter wall where considerable sums of our money was lost; conflict of interest in the management of university supplies; expensive procurements and inflated bills which erode the campus finances.

Prof Ddumba has previously come under intense pressure to resign for mismanaging the campus. He maintains his administration is not inept.

Tumwebaze’s comments underscore the growing unease in the government over the insecurity, corruption and impunity at Makerere University.

“If they say it’s not enough as they usually claim, can URA then take over the collection of all those fees from all paying  students, remit the funds to the consolidation fund and then have  Makerere university like any other government parastatal  budget for all its recurrent and development expenditure for direct government funding through parliamentary appropriation?” wondered Tumwebaze.

He wondered if Makerere leaders, lecturers and other staff would support this.

“Failure to ask and demand explanation from Makerere administration on these relevant issues but accept their blackmail towards government for more money is extreme irresponsibility,” the minister cautioned.

Impunity

The corruption at Makerere was exposed by the Auditor General’s (AG) report for the year ending 2015.

It showed that Shs 511,171,395 in staff advances is unaccounted for. The AG queried Shs776, 009,229 as official payments transferred to staffs’ personal bank accounts.

The AG reported that land in Kololo was secretly leased to a private investor at Shs 1,500,000,000 and money surreptitiously spent.

He also observed undeclared donor grants and wondered why Shs 1,053,747,963 was paid to external lawyers despite the presence of a fully fledged legal unit.

Makerere financials also indicated Shs 295,224,219 in understated revenues at the University Guest House while non-disclosed revenues stood at Shs 393,996,539.

Tumwebaze said those “rushing to be apologists of the blackmailing and striking staff should know that they are lending credence to this impunity. Government money is public money and therefore Parliament must appropriate it evenly to all sectors of society.”

He also welcomed the idea of a comprehensive inquiry into the way Makerere is managed with a special forensic audit on how internally generated funds are spent.

“I am sure, if this is fixed, Makerere woes would be fixed decisively. Good that the minister of education seems to have quickly discerned this cancer. She needs all the support and not quick harsh judgments that don’t offer any alternatives.”

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