Makerere University administration is investigating circumstances under which a Ugandan contractor imported from China and handed the university 7,000-patented gowns ahead of its 70th convocation ceremony.
Makerere’s Academic Registrar Alfred Masikye Namaoh on Wednesday this week confirmed receipt of a first batch of 7000-graduation gowns consignment in her report to the ceremonies committee headed by Dr. Tanga Odoi.
However, several reports emerged indicating that Team Uniform Limited, the company that was contracted to exclusively supply the gowns chose to import them from China this year due to frustrations by local suppliers and intrigue within the university, which blocked timely procurement.
The Nile Post understands that Team Uganda Limited had written a letter to the ceremonies committee complaining over non-payment of arrears but they did not receive feedback.
In a tweet on their verified Twitter handle, Makerere said that the contractor has been producing them locally over the years. The university has now announced that they have taken keen interest into the matter and that investigations have started.
“Production of the patented Makerere University graduation gown is managed by a Ugandan contractor who has been producing them locally. Management has taken interest in the circumstances surrounding the #Mak70thGrad gown production by the contractor and will investigate,” the tweet on Makerere’s handle reads.
Distribution of the gowns was to start effective Thursday, January 9 according to Dr Muhammad Kiggundu who is the acting Communications and International Relations Manager at Makerere.
Between January 14 and January 17, 2020, at least 13,509 graduands will be conferred upon degrees and awarded diplomas during the four-day ceremony at the Freedom Square at Makerere.
Unlike the years before 2018, every Makerere University graduand is expected to part with a mandatory fee of Shs 98,000 for a patented gown.
With the graduation due in nearly two days, it is not clear of when the university will receive the second batch of the gown consignment.