Kyambogo University was fully built when it opened in 2003 unlike many other institutions that only grow with time. It was made by a merger of the three institutions; Uganda Polytechnic Kyambogo (UPK), Uganda National Institute of Special Education (UNISE) and Kyambogo Institute of Teacher Education (ITEK). Almost all structures were set and a steady progress is what would be expected yet Kyambogo University has time and again fallen victim to administrative crises. Change of Office is a big huddle in this institution with administrative strikes happening almost every academic year.
The current acting Vice Chancellor, Eli Katunguka took over after his predecessor, Prof Isaiah Ndiege, was pushed out by a strike. Another strike had precipitated the search that led to Ndiege’s appointment to replace the acting Vice chancellor, Dr Basiima Mpandey, who had also replaced Prof Lutalo Bbosa.
With continuous power handover struggles in the University, court decided the University should announce a vacancy of Vice Chancellor. So far, not even that has beaten down the internal conflicts in this institution.
Five candidates applied for the position including Prof. Eli Katunguka, the University’s acting Vice Chancellor from Makerere University, Prof. Aaron Wanyama, the former dean faculty of science at Kyambogo University, Prof. George Byaruhanga-Bazirake, the dean faculty of science at Kyambogo University, Principal Prof. Geoffrey Bakunda Makerere University Business School’s Deputy, and Prof. Charles Twesigye from Kyambogo’s Biology department.
However, the University screened off some and forwarded only two; Prof. Eli Katunguka and Prof. Geoffrey Bakunda.
Eli Katunguka was chosen by the senate as best candidate however the University council trashed the decision citing non adherence to provisions of Universities and Other Tertiary Institutions Act which requires 3 candidates and not two.
The council was thus forced to stop the appointment process. The University won’t be resuming the appointment process as the Councils’ term ends this month on 20th.
Eli Katunguka will continue serving as Vice Chancellor for now. The only hope for a new leader now stands in the arms of the yet to be known new council’s capability to choose a VC with honesty and transparency.
How badly does Kyambogo need a strong leader?
With strikes right from the administration to students. Kyambogo needs a strong person to unify the University so that it can finally move on smoothly and catch up with other Institutions.
Jackson Betihamah, Kyambogo University Senior Administrative Staff Association (Kyusasa)Chairperson said
“Kyambogo wants a leader who is sociable and capable of building teamwork, and address staff challenges like understanding and academic progression; one who will ably utilise the university’s abundant but idle resources like land.”
“We want a vibrant VC who knows our history and is ready to govern people along the Kyambogo strategic plan.” Betihamah commented.
A Vice Chancellor is the highest individual administrator in a University.