Uganda’s Ministry of Education and Sports officials were on Tuesday grilled by MPs on Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee (PAC) as to why they gave Shs2.1bn to private universities
PAC summoned the Education Ministry officials following a revelation by Auditor General, John Muwanga that the Ministry transferred Shs2.19bn to six private Universities to fulfill Presidential pledges. This is contained in AG’s June 30th 2016 report to Parliament.
The report revealed that the money the Ministry gifted to Kisubi Brothers University College (912.5m), Bishop Stuart University (Shs380M), Kumi University (300M), Mountains of the Moon University (150M), Ndejje University (150M) and Nkumba University (300M) lacked detailed information on how the Ministry started to fulfill President Yoweri Museveni’s pledges. Additionally, the Universities lacked accountability on how they were going to utilize the money.
Ministry officials admitted issuing the money without accountability, revealing that only Nkumba and Ndejje handed in their accountabilities.
The Ministry also acknowledged that there was no Memorandum of Understanding between the ministry and the universities, but this has since been rectified.
Alex Kakooza, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education defended the issuance of the money noting that: “When he (President Museveni) makes pledges that fall under our sector, we budget for it.”
However, Gerald Karuhanga, Ntungamo Municipality MP questioned why the Ministry budget should go into paying presidential pledges yet Parliament also allocates money to the Office of the President to meet presidential pledges. He also wondered how the Ministry would cater for private Universities yet public Universities are grappling with meager funding.
Kakooza was accompanied by Rose Nasaali, the Education Service Boss and Director Higher Education at the Ministry.