Gown crisis: Makerere denies telling graduands to wear ordinary clothes

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A Makerere university graduation gown [URN Photo]

Makerere University has accused Team Uniforms Limited company, whom the university contracted three years ago, of breaching contract and failing to deliver 70th graduation ceremony gowns on time.

“Dear Gallant Makerereans, the Official Supplier of gowns for students graduating next week informed Management at the last minute that he was experiencing challenges supplying all graduation gowns on time,” Vice Chancellor Prof Barnabas Nawangwe said on Saturday.

He said the contractor’s actions are a breach of contract.

He, however, noted that management has put in place emergency measures to ensure that gowns for all graduands are ready by the day they attend the ceremony.

Victoria University

“By tomorrow Sunday 12th afternoon all graduands for 14th and 15th January should receive their gowns.”

The rest of the graduands will collect their gowns according to a schedule to be issued by the Academic Registrar.

“Management regrets the inconvenience and anxiety created by the Contractor’s failure to honour the contract and assures all graduands that everything necessary is being done to ensure a smooth graduation ceremony.”

He urged the graduands and their parents, guardians and the general public are requested to disregard malicious propaganda being spread on social media and other media platforms claiming that graduands will attend the graduation ceremony without the necessary academic dress.

“Management will keep graduands and the public updated on this very important matter. Thank you for your understanding.”

Nawangwe also clarified that they did not import graduation gowns from China and blamed the supplier for the decision that has culminated in the delayed delivery of the attire.

The university’s 70th graduation ceremony is slated to start on Monday, January 14, but by Wednesday, the contractor had not delivered the gowns, causing anxiety among the would-be recipients.

“Makerere has not imported gowns from China. The supplier is the one who is importing gowns. For us, we just receive the gowns when they are ready. How and where he makes them from is not our problem provided he makes them to the standard and specification we have given him,” Prof Nawangwe said.

“As a government institution, we are disappointed that his action is not supporting BUBU [Buy Uganda Build Uganda policy] because we know that there are enough people in this country that can make those gowns on time,” he added.

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