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Makerere Yet to Recover Funds from 16 Dismissed Academic Staff

The Deputy University Secretary, Yusuf Kiranda, says the Human Resources Director is yet to compile a list of the affected staff and compute the amount lost by the University.
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Makerere University is seeking a refund of unspecified sum of money from more than 16 academic staff who were dismissed for alleged failure to complete further studies on time.  

The Deputy University Secretary, Yusuf Kiranda, says the Human Resources Director is yet to compile a list of the affected staff and compute the amount lost by the University.   

“Even if we didn’t fund your studies, at least we gave you a study leave and the institution was losing funds. We shall get a way of retrieving that money,” Kiranda said.   According to a document from parliament seen by URN, some of the staff didn’t complete their studies within in stipulated time while others didn’t report back after the expiry of their study leave.    

The 16 were sacked in a mass swoop that saw 45 senior staff relieved of their duties in December last year. According to available records, 123 academic staff were sponsored for further studies over the last five (5) years. 

However, 55 of the beneficiaries failed to complete their courses within the stipulated timelines.  

Those laid off last year include Stella Maris Sendagi from Agricultural & Bio systems Engineering, Derrick Joseph Olaka a Teaching Assistant of Computer Science, Jude Olinga a teaching assistant of Epidemiology & Biostatistics, Harriet Namukwaya Kabunga from European & Oriental Languages department, Dr. Catherine Namono from Painting and Art History department, James Semuwemba an assistant lecturer from Civil & Environmental Engineering, David Kayondo, Saad Fatihiya Migdad, a deputy registrar.  

Others are Lawrence Achilles Nyanzi a teacher of Foundation & Curriculum Studies, Dorothy Kwagala, an Assistant Lecturer from School of Law, Robert Mutagwanya, Dr. Elly Amani Gamukama a senior University Librarian, Olive Darlia Buhule, an assistant lecturer in the department of Statistics & Actuarial Sciences, Sarah Alobo from Agribusiness and Natural Resource Economics department, Dr. Juliet Nabbuye Sekandi, Stephen Tumutegyereize, a lecturer in Planning & Applied Statistics department and Denis Asiimwe from the law school.

While the status of the 55 academic staff is unclear, the Education Committee of Parliament recently observed that there was no evidence or efforts by the University Council to enforce staff compliance within the prescribed timelines or to recover the grants.  

The Committee also noted that failure to efficiently utilize the grants could result in loss of future funding from donors thereby depriving other eligible beneficiaries of the opportunity to receive financial aid.  The Committee advised Makerere University to enforce the terms and conditions of sponsorship to avoid losing future grants.    

Section 5 (a) of the standard bonding agreement between Makerere University Council and its staff development fellows require the Council/ Sponsor to recover the whole or any part of the grant if the grantee fails or neglects to complete his/ her course/courses of study at the institution within the shortest prescribed by the terms of engagement/ regulations relating to such course of training or fails to pass the qualifying.    

The University management says it has initiated a process of handling all staff who contravened the provisions of the bonding agreement and the human resource manual.   Management says the staff matters have been referred to the Appointments Board where the culpable staff are being charged with abscondment and other related offenses.    

Other staff forwarded to the University Appointments Board for handling include Florence Namasinga who according to documents resigned from the university before completion of her studies and Dennis Otali whose leave expired in 2012 but has since not communicated.  

Fillister Ssonko didn’t report back for duty upon expiry of her study leave while Susan Olet resigned from upon completion of her studies.  

Charlotte Ntulume Kaweesa, Ssozi Phiona, Catherine Mugarura, Robert Opoka Opika, Francis Nturanabo, Henry Nabeta,Muhamed Kiwero, Evryn Patra Asio-Kalenzi, Gertrude Ayugi and Patricia Atim P’Odong haven’t  reported to the Human Resources, according to the documents and that there is no evidence of completion of their studies.    

Meanwhile, Godber Wilson Tumushabe was reinstated and found not to have absconded from duty. He had previously been accused by the university appointments Board of not reporting back after the expiry of his study leave in August 2011.    

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