The Principal of Makerere University Business School (MUBS) was grilled by the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of Parliament over loss of university land in Bugolobi.
Professor Balunywa represented the institution to answer queries regarding replacement of land for an area with less value on Wednesday.
The committee chaired by Ntungamo Municipality Member of Parliament Gerald Karuhanga noted that the University lost 12 acres of land in Bugolobi to an investor which was in turn compensated with a swamp in Butabika area near Kireka.
According to John Muwanga, the Auditor General, in his report, it was noted that the school owns land in Kireka measuring approximately 0.906 hectares (2.2 acres); this land was compensated to Mubs by Uganda Land Commission following an out of court settlement for the loss of part of the school land at Bugolobi, which the Commission illegally allocated to private developers.
The report also noted that MUBS has never taken full control of the land as part of it is occupied by squatters while the other part is in a swamp.
Karuhanga queried from Balunywa why he accepted to take a swamp as a compensation for clean land.
In his reply, Prof Balunywa told the MPs that management’s proposal to be provided with alternative land has not yielded any results. Karuhanga has further tasked the officials (MUBS) to ensure that they get land that is equivalent to the lost one.
Among other issues that arose in the meeting between MUBS administrators and PAC, the committee questioned circumstances under which Mubs carried out works at its Jinja-Narambhai campus at a whooping Shs679.2 million citing that land and buildings belong to Jinja Municipal Council and are currently allocated to Narambhai Primary School.
On this matter, Prof Balunywa revealed that the renovation was done to create a conducive learning environment for students after signing an agreement with Jinja Municipal Council but the council has made a U-turn on the issue of land title.
While discussing about the issue of students with partial payments (up to 60%) who sit for exams, Muwanga noted that the accumulation of fees debts hinders the cash flow position hence affecting the institution’s operations.
Prof Balunywa said the institution is adopting other policies that prevent such students (debtors) from writing their final exams.