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State House asks NCHE to intervene in CHIFCOD management wrangles

Part of Great Lakes University Kanungu (Photo Credit Samuel Amanya)

Kanungu, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The National Council for Higher Education has been instructed by the State House to intervene in the ownership and management wrangles involving education institutions that are managed by the Kanungu-based Child to Family Community Development Organization-CHIFCOD.

The Non-Government Organization is managing Kirima, Nyamirama, Nyakabungo, Rutenga parents’ primary schools, Great Lakes High School, and Great Lakes Regional University in the Kanungu district, with a student population of 2,400 learners, altogether.

But the schools have been embroiled in a feud pitting Bishop Hamlet Mbabazi Kabushenga and his business partner Honest Wilkins Natukwasa. The feud started in June 2020 when funders led by Allan West accused Kabushenga of financial mismanagement and asked him to resign.

Although Kabushenga tendered his resignation on September 25, 2021, paving way for Natukwasa’s appointment, he made a U-turn two months later and declared that he was still the official founder and chancellor of the University. In December 2021, the High Court Civil Division issued an injunction barring him and his wife Esther Kellen Mbabazi from accessing institutions until the main suit where he is accused of financial impropriety is heard.

The Wrangles escalated in December 2022 when Kanungu security authorities led by the Deputy Resident District Commissioner Gad Ahimbisibwe Rugaaju and police evicted Natukwasa’s faction and handed the institutions back to Kabushenga. The situation worsened when students at the Great Lakes Regional University threatened bloodshed over new guidelines that required them to go through a validation exercise.

The university was eventually closed prompting students to petition the Ministry of Education and Sports for guidance. The same University was closed in November 2021 when the two factions organized parallel graduation ceremonies. Since then, the university has never held any graduation.

Now Aidah Tegeki, a Legal Advisor to President Yoweri Museveni has written to the National Council for Higher Education NCHE demanding a thorough investigation into the wrangles. In the letter, Tegeki asked the council to hold a meeting with both parties and stakeholders like the Kanungu Resident District Commissioner and Protestant Church of Eppingen, Uganda Development Initiative so that a report is drafted and tabled before the President for analysis.

The two warring leaders confirmed to our reporter that he had already received a copy of the letter and were preparing their documentation to prove their case.

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