Busitema University understaffed

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The Busitema University secretary, Albert Mutungwire, has told the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) that they are understaffed despite being a science-based institution.

Mutungwire said there are only 99 academic staff, which translates into 29% of the required minimum of 50 percent staff.

The top management team of the university were on Thursday appearing before the committee to answer queries from the Auditor General’s report for the financial year ended 2021.

To cover up the manpower gap, Mutungwire said that they require about 150 staff, especially lecturers and senior lecturers to properly cover their six campuses.

"We need them across the board but more specifically in the Faculty of Engineering, Faculty of Medicine, Faculty of Agriculture, and Faculty of Natural Resources and Education and Science," he said, adding that several staff were due for promotion after attaining PhDs.

He revealed that they had been hindered by the Finance ministry’s directive to only replace departing staff.

"We have 20 cases of those who are senior lecturers but now qualify to be associate professors. We have 10 cases of professors and 30 cases of lecturers who want to be promoted to senior lecturers," he said.

However, Members of Parliament on the committee questioned how the university was operating with 400 staff across all the six campuses and also raised concern over the quality of graduates being produced.

The committee tasked the team to produce evidence of their request to add more staff and the ministry letters on new recruitment.

Michael Mawanda, the Igara East MP, said that the core mandate of the university is teaching and learning but he is shocked that it has a 29% staffing level.

The university also decried underfunding of the capital budget to support infrastructure expansion, saying that only Shs 2.3 billion of Shs 9.6 billion is given to them annually.

As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, the entity only collected Shs4.9 billion as non-tax revenue of the anticipated Shs 6.5 billion

 

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