Gulu University vice chancellor quizzed by the land commission

By Sania Babirye

The current Gulu university Secretary Moses Bukenya Seguya has asked the  commission of Inquiry into land matters to summon the Gulu university vice chancellor to  explain why the university breached the contract to gazette the Gulu central forest reserve.

Bukenya who denied any involvement made the call after the land commission headed by justice Catherine Bamugemeire tasked him to explain why the university went ahead and constructed permanent structures on the 28 hectares that it had aquired from NFA in December 2006 to construct a single non permanent structure.

According to the license, the university was meant to construct a temporary faculty of Medicine, but it went a head to construct permanent buildings including a green park holdings ltd a private hostel owned by George Otto, Ambrose  Otto and Martin Oyat.

The commission says such private partnerships like the hostel which is housing government sponsored students has led to government  to lose billions  of shillings through illegal transactions since they were funded by the African Development bank yet government continues to pay the hostel owners for housing the government students  .

The commission has also discovered that the university put other permanent structures including lecture blocks, Engineering department offices, library and a multi functional research laboratory among others.

However in his defense,  Bukenya who assumed office in October 2016, told  the commission that the University council which the vice chancellor is a member of  would be in best position to explain the illegal projects on the forest reserve because it was responsible for over  seeing the applicability of the land.

He confirmed to the commission that although the university was paying  money to NFA, the vice chancellor wrote a letter directing to stop any payment to NFA.

Justice Bamugemeire has now ordered the university council  with immediate effect to adress the encroachment on the forest reserve  and to also  reverse their MOU with green park holdings so that government does not continue losing tax payers money to green park holdings when its  benefiting from the land rented to it by the university .

Justice Bamugemeire says the university must put a lease on green park holdings so that it can recover the said land after a certain period of time which will save government from losing billions of shillings in tax payers money.