Makerere names team to study report on 16,000 ghost students

Makerere University Main Administration Building.

Makerere University Vice Chancellor Prof Barnabas Nawangwe has appointed an eight member committee to study the Visitation Committee report on the university and prepare a formal response.

Key among the visitation report recommendations is the decongestion of Makerere University by transferring undergraduate programmes in the College of Education and External Studies (CEES) to Kyambogo University.

Makerere University staff confirmed findings of the visitation committee about the existence of ghost students and staff on the university pay role pushing for the arrest and prosecution of implicated officials.

Deus Kamunyu, the MUASA chairperson, said they had information that it was taking place but were not aware how it was taking place.

“I hope this committee found out how it was being done,” he remarked.

Over 16,000 ghosts

The visitation committee investigating Makerere University affairs revealed about 16,000 names of suspected ghost students on the institution’s enrolment register who were unaccounted for during the headcount verification.

The probe committee also found at least another 600 names of suspected ghost staff on the university payroll.

President Museveni appointed the committee in November 2016 to study the cause of persistent strikes and financial woes at the country’s oldest university with an aim of finding remedy following closure of the university on November 1, 2016 after a lecturers’ strike.

In its report findings, the committee says it discovered glaring discrepancies between the number of students submitted for verification and those who were verified during the headcount.

According to the report, the university management presented to the committee student nominal rolls containing 46,128 names for verification categorised as “continuing, newly admitted and graduate students”.

Only 29,889 students (65 per cent) were verified during the committee’s headcount exercise as of February, 2017.

Over 16,239 (35 per cent) students were unverified, unaccounted for or deemed suspect.

The report also notes that another 4,235 students showed up for the headcount verification exercise but were not on the university nominal roll.

The report was presented to President Museveni last Friday at his country home in Rwakitura, Kiruhura District by the deputy chairperson of the committee, Justice Ketrah Katunguka.

Committee calls for implementation task force

The Committee then called for establishment of task-force that will oversee the implementation of a cocktail of its recommendations.

The Makerere University Independent Transformation Task Force (MUTTF) will run for a period of three to five years.

The necessity of the implementation task force is informed by management deficiencies that have bedevilled Makerere for years.

The task force, according to the visitation committee report, will “develop a twenty (20) years’ comprehensive Operational Viability Analysis (OVA) detailing strategic goals, strategy, governance and management structures, legal framework, required resources, job analysis, cost structures and revenue streams.”

The task force is also supposed to “develop an Implementation Plan for Makerere University Reforms, and provide strategic oversight for the implementation of the Plan including the recommendations of the Rwendeire Committee.”

The Taskforce should be situated in the Ministry of Education, according to the Visitation Committee report, and should be composed of up to seven members with competences in corporate governance, legal, finance, strategic planning, human resource management, ICT and higher education curriculum development.