They argue that Busitema University took over a number of valuable assets including more than 500 land titles, assorted furniture and buildings, among others.
Jinja—September 30, 2020: Over 130 former employees of Namasagali University have implored government to expedite payment of their salaries and allowances amounting to more than Uganda shillings 3 billion. This, they say, has been outstanding for more than 10 years now.
Namasagali University formerly in Namasagali sub-county, Kamuli district was in 2008 transformed into a constituent college of Busitema University to become the first public university in the region.
On September 4, 1998, the Ministry of Education and Sports licensed it as a university.
The university that sat on a spacious 600-acre land of the once popular Namasagali College was founded by the Roman Catholic Mill Hill Missionary Priest Rev Fr Damian Grimes to cater for the many students whose parents could not afford university education outside the area.
According to Daniel Isabirye, who is coordinating the former staff members of the university, they have written more than 50 letters to different offices like the Ministry of Education and Sports, but their request has been turned down.
“Some of the beneficiaries have died without getting any penny despite assurance from government which has become more or less a song,” Isabirye laments.
Mr Isabirye says they were guided by the Solicitor General, Mr Francis Atoke, to pursue their matter politically since it could not be handled by the technical wing of the government.
In one of the letters seen by TND News, the 135 former workers wrote to the Speaker of Parliament pleading for an appointment to meet the President who had directed the line ministry to handle their matter.
They argue that Busitema University took over a number of valuable assets including more than 500 land titles, assorted furniture and buildings among others.
The ex-staff added that the liabilities like salary arrears have never been addressed.
“….like it’s the practice that you take over assets and liabilities, government should release the money we have worked for to help us at this critical moment when some have become too old,” Isabirye appeals.
President Yoweri Museveni, while meeting Busoga Parliamentary Group (BPG) in Rwakitura in January 2008, discussed and committed government to implement a number of educational programs including Namasagali University.
Consequently, the president directed the then Minister of Education and Sports, Geraldine Bitamazire to ensure that a budget for the following financial year for the implementation was included.
Isabirye justifies the concerns of the former workers, saying all other pledges made at the time were fulfilled, but wonders why their payments have not been honored.
“Construction of a secondary school in Busede, the area where Alice Lakwena fought from and was defeated, Nkoko Technical Institute to be constructed in commemoration of one of my fellow combatants late Nkoko of Mayuge and Namasagali to be considered for a constituent college of Busitema University,” the president’s directive dated 11 February 2008 reads in part.
The group has now written another letter seeking an appointment with President Museveni with the hope that this time round, when many Ugandans are hard hit by the effects of Covid-19 pandemic, the matter will be resolved once and for all.