Makerere assistant lecturer on spot for sexually transmitted marks

A report into sex for marks and sexual harassment scandal at Makerere University has implicated a lecturer of unprofessional conduct. Six of the eight female students interviewed by the Committee that investigated the scandal implicate Brian Musaga, a former Assistant lecturer in the College of Business and Management Studies- CoBAMS for sexual harassment.

The lecturer is battling similar accusations in court. A copy of the July 25th 2016 report seen by URN shows that, the lecturer would work until late in the night and weekends where he would invite female students to his A22 school of Statistics and Planning SSP office and make sexual advances.

“All students’ testimonies consistently indicated that Musaga worked very late hours which was further confirmed by the security guards and custodians,” reads the report. It notes that once at his office, Musaga would psychologically torture the female students and reprimand them for being there illegally before arousing them sexually to succumb to his advances.

The information that was compiled from students written submissions and oral testimonies was found to be consistent, according to the report. “The committee noted several similarities in the testimonies regarding the modus operandi used by Musaga to sexually harass students. The committee noted that the testimonies from independent students could only be similar if they were pointing to the same thing- the truth,” reads the report.

Adding that; “the contrary would hold only if the students had been coached on what to say, but the committee did not get evidence to this effect.” During the investigations, the Committee invited Musaga to present his defense to the allegations by the students in vain, saying he would only show with his lawyer. The report notes that when Musaga finally appeared with his lawyer he threatened to sue the University for Defamation.

Only of the all the staff from the college who interfaced with the committee indicated that they had heard claims from students implicating Musaga for sexually harassing him but they didn’t present any specific evidence. The committee noted that although rumors cannot be relied on to discipline a staff member, persistent and consistent rumors were basis for investigations.

“Failure to undertake an investigation by the department, school or college was considered by the committee as a great omission,” notes the report. URN understands that there were formal complaints about sexual harassment against Musaga dating back to November 2015. The complaints were handled at the school level, which led to his sacking in October 2015 as examinations coordinator.

“The school was unfair to the students by not undertaking an investigation of sexual harassment but instead took a lighter different direction,” the committee notes in its report. It was discovered that using his position as the examinations coordinator, Musaga, intimidated female students who had been caught in examination malpractice or failed papers by threatening that they would be dismissed from the university if they did not yield to his sexual demands.

“Threatening students with dismissal, he was misusing his authority as a lecturer and supervisor to solicit for sex and this is a basic ingredient of sexual harassment.” According to the report, Musaga appeared on July 19th 2016 with his lawyer, Robert Kayobyo to present his defense. However, his lawyer asked for adjournment, saying his client was too traumatized to appear yet he also had just received a letter to represent him.

However, the committee rejected the request, saying Musaga should have remained behind since the committee wanted to engage him not his lawyer. Musaga decided to leave with his lawyer. While the report was submitted to Makerere University Appointments Board for appropriate action, the Board Chairperson, Bruce Balaba Kabaasa, says they can’t take any action since the matter is before court.

He declined to comment on Mugasa’s contract, saying they will tackle the matter once court disposes off the matter.

The tribunal was chaired by Dr. Betty Ezati, Dean School of Education. Other members included Prof Florence Mutonyi D’ujanga, Moses Musinguzi, Goddy Muhumuza and Janet Nabukeera. The committee was among other things tasked to investigate allegations into Musaga’s case any other staff of the college and investigate allegations of sex for marks by staff and other related issues at the college.

 

 

 

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Arua school struggles to educate refugees, numbers are overwhelming

Antonio Guterres, the United Nations Secretary General may have visited Arua last week, but it might take hours for Inyau Primary School to benefit from such a high-profile visit.

Guterres, who was in Uganda for the UN-backed Solidarity Summit on Refugees, on Thursday briefly visited Inyau on his way to Imvepi Refugee Settlement, home to over 100,000 refugees from South Sudan.

Located 57km from Arua town,  Inyau primary school is a Universal Primary Education school in Ijako Village, Lugbari Parish; Odupi Sub County. Being the nearest primary school to the refugee settlement, thousands of refugee children have flocked the school for lessons.

Hosting refugees appears to have had a toll on Inyau Primary School. The school has only nine teachers taking charge of 1,642 pupils. Of these, 1,050 are refugees. This has impacted on pupil assessment leading to poor performance.

Charles Draga, the School head teacher, says the numbers are overwhelming and have stretched the meagre resources including the seven classrooms and four toilet facilities.

According to Draga, the school has 896 boys and 746 girls. Boys share two latrines while girls share four which he says are not enough. Pupils sit on the floor while others stand due to shortage of furniture.

In an interview with the school head teacher, on average each classroom has 240 pupils compared to 55 the classes are designed for. He says that at the school, the conditions have worsened due to high numbers of pupils.

Draga notes that because majority of the pupils in the school are refugees, their attention span is low since the school doesn’t provide them with lunch.

“They leave earlier than expected. Few look healthy and others look really weak because of the hunger and other conditions,” Draga says.

Even with the overwhelming pupil numbers, Inyau primary school is yet to receive additional funding from government to take care of the pupils. From the previous pupil registration, Draga says that government has been giving the school about 800,000 Shillings quarterly as subvention.

He however says that they have not received any additional funding since the influx of refugees, something that has put pressure on the available facilities including toilets.

Ahead of Guterres’ visit to the Imvepi, the school benefited from construction of four temporary toilet structures.

While the world pays attention to the refugees in different settlement camps, Draga’s attention is on managing thousands of pupils in a school with space enough to accommodate less than half the number.

 

 

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The nation will miss a great educationist say minister Janet Museveni

By Segawa Robert
The first lady and minister of education Janet Museveni has described the late prof.Lawrence Mukiibi who died early this week as a great educationist.  Minister added that the nation will miss will miss him.
Speaking during the requiem mass at Rubaga Cathedral on Wednesday, the education minister said that the deceased lived a selfless life and worked to improve the education system of the country through his schools.
Cardinal Emmanuel Wamala said that the deceased was a great pillar of education in both Uganda and East African region at large.
His children described him as one who lived a simple life of helping and mentoring others.

Education minister, Janet Kataha urges UMI to research on cause of corruption

By Wasswa Deo

Minister for Education, Janet Kataha Museveni has urged the Uganda Management Institute to go beyond their usual research, and carryout a special research on behaviors of workers in both private and public sectors aimed at finding out what the major causes of  corruption and the immediate solution to this challenge.

Janet made the remarks during the Uganda Management Institute graduation ceremony, where hundreds graduated in management skills.

She also also advised the grandaunts to put into practice the skills  they have acquired from the institute in order to get the few jobs that are on labour market in the country.

Police in Sembabule arrests two education officials over ghost teachers

Two education officials in Sembabule district have been arrested over the existence of ghost teachers and students in government schools in the district.  The arrested officials are Muhammad Kiggwe-Sembabule District Inspector of Schools and Patrick Muhwezi, the head teacher of Kawanda Church of Uganda Secondary School.

They were arrested last evening following investigations into reports that the number of teacher’s students in the schools did not match what is reflected on the official record.  The investigations were led by Sembabule Resident District Commissioner Henry Baguma.

On Thursday, police and RDC Baguma raided Kawanda Church of Uganda Secondary School and found 10 that the school is being run by 10 teachers as opposed to the 17 teachers on the official record. The head teacher could not account for the 7 missing teachers who were also unknown to the learners.

Based on the inconsistencies, the RDC ordered that the two officials be arrested to aid government investigations into the existence of Ghost teachers in Sembabule district. Police also interrogated Paul Nantamu, the Sembabule District Education Officer on the presence of ghost teachers on the payroll.

Muhwezi, the head teacher of Kawanda Secondary School told Uganda Radio Network on Monday that he is equally unaware of the seven teachers who were allegedly deployed to the school. He said district officials have never explained why of the seventeen required teachers; only ten are available at the school.

Last year, Simon Bimbona, the former Sembabule CAO removed 40 ghost teachers from schools around the district. Officials say the district loses over 70 million Shillings every month on payments to none existent teachers.

 

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Uganda Christian University secures global recognition for Business Adminitration and Law courses

Uganda Christian University (UCU) has secured global recognition for two of its degree programs; the Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA), and the Bachelor of Laws degree program.

UCU’s Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) program is now accredited by the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), a global accounting body of accountants and Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Uganda (ICPAU).

The exemption followed a review of the UCU faculty of business curriculum and examination by the ACCA examination and accreditation team from UK. The accreditation also came with an exemption of six papers for graduates interested in becoming ACCA members, according to Patrick Mubangizi, the coordinator ACCA and CPA at the Mukono based institution.

“This means that a person who graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree of Business Administration majoring in Accounting will only sit for eight papers out of 14,” he said, adding, “For those intending to do CPA, the accreditation team from Uganda exempted us five papers.”

Godfrey Ssempungu, the Associate Dean of the Faculty of Business and Administration said, “This stamp of approval is a testament to the rigor of the program and the readiness of our graduates to join the accounting profession.”

Prossy Natukunda, a BBA student described the development as a blessing, “Those professional courses are expensive, but when you are exempted some, the burden of paying is reduced.” With ACCA and CPA, you can work anywhere as a certified accountant.”

Similarly, UCU’s law degree holders are officially accredited to apply for the bar course in England and Wales. This implies that UCU law graduates now possess the required standards to apply for a bar course in the United Kingdom (UK) and become barristers in the UK, the equivalent to an advocate in Uganda.

Dr Anthony Kakooza, the Dean Faculty of Law at UCU said the global recognition for the law course widens the market for UCU law graduates who can no longer be constrained if LDC shuts the door on them, “They should know that there are other places to practice as long as it is a common world vetting.”

Francis Gimara, the president Uganda Law Society said the recognition is a confirmation of the high standards of the UCU law degree.

“It means more opportunities for the graduates to be part of the British barristers. We look forward to working with more lawyers that can practice both in Uganda and in the UK,” Gimara said.

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Development partners urge government to intervene on menstrual hygiene issues

By Zirimala Daudi
Uganda will be joining the rest of the world to mark the menstrual hygiene management day on 28th may at a time when Uganda is still facing a huge burden of having menstrual hygiene among her female population mainly among school going girls.
According to health expert Dr. Edson Muhwezi ,there is need for every Ugandan be it a cultural, religious, political, community, CSO leaders and parents to take up the matter to help facilitate girls with sanitary pads during their menstrual periods for them to enjoy living a comfortable life.
He says Ugandans should utilize this day to embrace the plight of the girl’s education by eliminating the barriers to their education through putting in place policies to help them.
 Development partners and advocacy groups have also advised government that menstrual hygiene issues need a comprehensive approach if the country is to register positive results that will see female citizens in this country live a respectable life.
According to the development manager at straight talk foundation, Walakira Godfrey said that Menstrual hygiene in Uganda is a less discussed topic in Uganda with less budgetary allocation towards this vote by govt which has seen many Ugandan school going girls either drop out of school or loose most of their school time trying to attend to this issue which has continued to impact negatively on their lives.
Govt had to allocate UGX.16Bn in this financial year to give out free sanitary pads to school but later it was revealed that it has insufficient funds to facilitate this vote in the national budget which has created worries among school going girls in rural areas.

Makerere appointments committee commence search for new Vice chancellor

The Makerere University Council, the supreme governing body of the institution, has kicked off the search process for the next Vice Chancellor.

In a day-long meeting on Thursday at Makerere University Council room, the council chaired by Eng. Dr. Charles Wana Etyem nominated Hon. Irene Ovonji Odida, the Vice Chairperson of council together with Bruce Balaba Kabaasa, the appointments committee chairperson as council representatives to search committee.

Section 31 (3) of the Universities and Other Tertiary Institutions Act stipulates that a search committee composed of two members from the University Council and three members from the University Senate shall identify suitable candidates for the post of Vice Chancellor and forward them to the Senate to nominate three candidates for recommendation to the University Council.

Section 31 (4) of the Act stipulates that the Vice-Chancellor shall be appointed on terms and conditions determined by the University Council for five years and shall be eligible for re-appointment for one more term.

Kabaasa told URN that this is a routine process required by the law and that council had just started the process.

During the 67th graduation ceremony, the Vice Chancellor Prof. John Ddumba Ssentamu thanked the University Chancellor for an opportunity to serve as the vice Chancellor. Prof. Ddumba assumed office on September 1, 2012 and his five-year renewable term will come to a close on August 31.

The University Council agreed that Hon. Irene Ovonji Odida will Chair the Search Committee for the next Vice Chancellor.

Speaking after the council meeting, Ritah Namisango, the University senior Publicist told URN that the fiver-member search committee will be fully constituted in two weeks’ time.

“The three remaining representatives will be nominated by Makerere University Senate within two weeks.”

 

 

 

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Makerere deputy registrar fired over extortion

Margaret Etuusa, the Makerere University Deputy Registrar in charge Certification, Ceremonies and Production Division-CCPD has been suspended.

Etuusa is accused of illegally hiring a company that fleeced money from parents and graduands during the just concluded 67th graduation ceremonies at the university under the guise of securing their mobile phones and gadgets.

In a March 7th 2017 letter, Acting Makerere University Vice Chancellor, Associate Prof. Okello Ogwang, suspends Etuusa over what he termed as abuse of office and overstepping her mandate. “Preliminary investigations have shown that you are the officer at the centre of the controversy of purported fleecing of money from unsuspecting members of the public, and attempting to paint the good image of Makerere University “black”,” Ogwang said.

Ogwang adds: “It has been discovered that you irregularly handled the process of charging phone owners without approval of the University Authority.”  Etuusa reportedly single-handedly permitted Exxon Contractors Limited to provide phone custody services during the 67th graduation ceremony after paying Shillings 1 million into the academic registrar’s account.

Prof. Ogwang says that by single handedly contracting the company, Etuusa overstepped her powers. “You overstepped your powers and abused your office by single-handedly procuring the phone handler, which resulted into fleecing money from the unsuspecting members of the public and denting the university image,” reads Ogwang’s letter.

According to Prof. Ogwang, Etuusa’s conduct flouted provisions of the public procurement law –PPDA Act– because she usurped the powers of the Contracts Committee. “So your actions are susceptible to fraud, abuse of office, and tantamount to gross misconduct contrary to the well-known and laid down procurement laws, policies and procedures,” he contends.

Prof. Ogwang has ordered Etuusa to vacate the university office with immediate effect and stay away from the Senate Building during her suspension period. Etuusa will be on half pay during her suspension. “Your written explanation was found not convincing. Accordingly, you are hereby suspended on half pay with immediate effect and your matter is forwarded to the Appointments Board for disciplinary action,” Ogwang’s letter reads.

Ogwang instructs Etuusa to handover all university property in her possession to the Academic Registrar and and the Director of Human Resources.

Etuusa’s suspension follows a public outcry during and after the 67th Graduation Ceremony last month about the university decision to charge them for securing their phones and electronic gadgets. This prompted Dr. Tanga Odoi, the Makerere University Convocation-MUC chairman to write to the university secretary calling for Etuusa’s suspension and inquiries into the matter.

In his February 27th, 2017 letter, Dr. Odoi noted that while the function was colourfully organised, it had selfish members of the university who used it as an extortion avenue to reap money from parents and graduands.

“Media reports on mismanagement of graduation ceremony casted doubts on our ability to manage financial resources as the university. I have received numerous calls from staff and alumni over these reports, citing possible ramifications on the perimeter wall project funding. Reports also cites loss of university income due to insider trading involving some university officers which were illegal,” noted Dr. Tanga.

Etuusa has not yet commented on the accusations and the new development as she couldn’t be reached by our reporter.

 

 

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Premier Rugunda announces government plan to send food supplies to schools across the country

Government plans to supply food to schools across the country due to a shortage triggered by a prolonged dry spell, Prime Minister Dr Ruhakana Rugunda has said.

Rugunda told parliament last evening that food will be provided through the District Education Committees in all the 116 districts. The committees will then determine the schools that need urgent relief noting that severe food shortages have impacted on school attendance.

Rugunda added that the matter will further be discussed at a Cabinet meeting today.

The commitment followed a passionate and heated debate on an action plan to mitigate the food insecurity situation in the country. This was part of a joint statement presented by Agriculture Minister Vincent Ssempijja and State Minister for Disaster Preparedness Musa Ecweru.

Ecweru said that the most food insecure regions include Teso, Karamoja, Bukedi, the Cattle Corridor, Busoga, Lango, Acholi and parts of central Uganda. He said that these areas had started receiving relief food from the Office of the Prime Minister.

He added that the food crisis situation had impacted severely on the attendance in schools especially in the rural government primary schools where children find it hard to go to school on empty stomach.

Ecweru told parliament that the current relief stocks stand at 30,000-100kgs bags of maize flour, 7000- 100kgs bags of beans and 119,660 50kgs bags of rice. He said the food items worth 22.2 billion Shillings were a donation from the government of China.

Ecweru told parliament that the Japanese government has pledged to support particularly the Karamoja Sub-region through the World Food Program towards feeding in schools.

Agriculture Minister Vincent Ssempijja said that bean seeds are scarce due to the drought and that government can only provide 600,000 kilograms worth 2.4 billion Shillings.

Members of parliament demanded for adequate funding to the agriculture sector.

 

 

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