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Muni University health science laboratory project stalls over funds

Arua, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The construction of a multi-purpose Health Science Laboratory Building at Muni University has stalled for nearly five years. In March 2019, the university signed a contract with Kisinga Construction Company for the second phase of the construction, with a planned completion date in 2022.

However, the building has stalled at the ring beam level, and only 46% of the work has been completed, according to the university management. The Auditor General, John Muwanga, raised concerns about the project in his latest report, stating that it had not been completed according to the planned completion dates.

The construction project, with a combined contract sum of UGX 9.4 billion, has faced challenges, including the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on construction works. The Vice Chancellor of Muni University, Associate Professor Simon Anguma, attributed the delay to both the pandemic and insufficient funding received by the university.

He mentioned that during the Financial Year 2022/2023, the university received a budget that was inadequate for its development needs. Anguma stated that if the university’s development budget had been honored in past financial years, the health science laboratory project would likely have been completed by now.

Eng. Joel Aita, the Chairperson of Muni University Council, emphasized the importance of completing the laboratory project, as inadequate laboratory space hampers scientific research. He appealed to the government and other stakeholders to provide funds to complete the project, facilitating the discovery of new knowledge.

“As the University Council, we appeal to all stakeholders and entities of goodwill to increase both technical and financial support to stir progressive development, promoting research agenda, rolling out new emerging research technologies,” Aita noted.

Muni University, established in 2013 as the Sixth Public University in Uganda, faces challenges in completing critical infrastructure projects due to funding constraints. The completion of the Health Science Laboratory Building is crucial for the university’s research agenda and the advancement of academic programs.

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