Ssekabaka Edward Muteesa I must be turning in his tomb at Kasubi. He was an education visionary who invited the white people to teach his Baganda how to read and write. His great grandson Kabaka Ronald Muwenda Mutebi chose to name Buganda Kingdom’s university after him. Today, some self-centered people within Buganda are killing the university and the legacy of Muteesa I.
Since inception, some staff and council think that firing a Vice Chancellor is the best way the university can move forward. They write anonymous letters to whoever cares blaming one Vice Chancellor after the other. The most interesting thing is that when they are accusing the VC, they refer to one they led to his sacking or resignation as the best one ever. Today, they say Prof Arthur Sserwanga is not managing well apparently because he spends three days at the Kampala campus and two at Masaka. To them, the VC must be physically present at the Masaka campus. Yet Muteesa I has actually three campuses (the third one is in Mubende).
But what is the problem at Muteesa I? The major problem is money. Before Prof Sserwanga’s appointment, students paid cash to the Bursar’s office and therefore people in the cash office and those who had appointed them there decided what to do with the money. The university didn’t have policies such as procurement so whoever had the cash decided what to buy. Sserwanga changed this and those who had access to this money are now fighting. They have to wait for their salaries, which they don’t want to do.
Students paying in the bank obviously caused a financial strain to those who were eating this money. Previously, they got their way by threatening Vice Chancellors with sacking and strikes. In Sserwanga, they found a character that isn’t easily threatened. And that has caused them a lot of problems.
Yet some of these staff are not even qualified to work in a university. They had been hired after they had been recommended by their godfathers within Buganda. Prof Sserwanga initiated a human resource policy. As expected, those who are supposed to leave because of lack of experience and academic qualifications are against their boss. Yet they could upgrade by going back to school so that they get qualified.
It is these staff who are conniving with Dr Jones Kyazze, a council member and Youth Minister Henry Ssekabembe Kiberu to cause chaos at Muteesa I Royal University (MRU). Dr Kyazze has been writing letters to junior staff of MRU asking them to strike and accuse some members of the management team of atrocities they haven’t committed. The University Council has written to Dr Kyazze warning him officially of using his position to cause chaos and undermine the senior management of MRU.
Dr Kyazze, a retired man who should be looking after his grand children wants to be permanently employed as University Secretary. A 79-year-old man should not be looking for a permanent job in a university that needs fresh ideas. There is absolutely nothing he can offer in terms of leadership. His time is over. He really shouldn’t even be a council member.
The same team of staff approached Ssekabembe and convinced him that the best way to get back at those he owes money within the Mengo administration is by diverting their attention. That is how he has ended up creating parallel youth organisations within MRU. Ssekabembe also doesn’t fully understand his youth docket. Being a minister of youth doesn’t make one responsible for education.
As greedy for money as Ssekabembe is, he also thought an alumni group that reports to him will have annual fees and the like payable to him and his cronies. Unfortunately, he is dealing with very miserable groups. The latest Ssekabembe creation is an alumni group apparently led by Tebuseeke Samuel who goes around calling himself a journalist of MRU. MRU has no journalists, as it is not a media house. Tebuseeke has no vision for anything, he is just looking for survival.
An alumni group that is fighting one established lawfully by the university cannot have the best interests of the university. Tebuseeke, if he is concerned about MRU he should find the real problem and then help solve it not creating more problems for the university. With Ssekabembe and Kyazze’s backing, Tebuseeke claims that he will hold a press conference at the university. Leading a factious group doesn’t give him any access to university facilities. Unfortunately, his backers, Ssekabembe and Kyazze also have no such capacity.
The police and Mengo must throw out these self seekers from MRU otherwise the university which had started attracting support from international partners will simply lose all that. Kyazze must accept that at his age he can’t be university secretary and Ssekabembe must concentrate on paying those he has been conning.