By Frank Tumwebaze
Whatever opportunistic politics some circles and actors are trying to put up around makerere, let’s us not get diverted from understanding the core problem.
The question of how money generated from fees paying students, is spent remains the million dollar question.
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? 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, remmit the funds to the consolidated 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? Would the Makerere leaders, lecturers and other staff 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.
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.
I fully welcome 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 judgements that don’t offer any alernatives.
The writer is the minister for information and ICT