With the 66th Makerere University Graduation on, the newly appointed Chancellor of Makerere was finally unveiled.
The ex-finance minister Ezra Suruma was dully installed in the presence of Prime Minister Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda who represented the president.
Suruma is now the head of the University and will be presiding at all ceremonial assemblies of Makerere University and in this name, will confer degrees and other academic titles and distinctions.
The Chancellor was appointed by the President on the recommendation of the University Council, replacing Prof George Mondo Kagonyera.
He topped the list of the contenders with 83 per cent, followed by the former executive director National Council for Higher Education, Prof AB Kasozi, with 70 per cent, former Uganda Martyr’s University vice chancellor Charles Olweny and former Chief Justice
In his remarks after being installed, he thanked his predecessor Prof. Kagonyera for the work he had done and promised to carry the flag on.
“Thank you for accomplishing 8 years of incredible service as Chancellor and i will do more to see this institution grow within my
Warned on Partisan Politics
Prof Kagonyera warned Prof Suruma to distance himself from partisan politics advising him to concentrate on the affairs of Makerere University.
“The chancellor should not engage in partisan politics, but he should instead prioritize the students’ welfare and as well staff,” Kagonyera advised Suruma.
He also clarified that he is not standing for any political seat but instead he will play the advisory role that was assigned to him.
However Prof Kagonyera’s words will surprise many, since he has been an ardent supporter of the NRM regime while at Makerere as the chancellor and he could always pronounced self openly.
Kagonyera also took time to rebut, critics who have always made negative comments about Makerere University, before thanking the University for
the Wonderful while serving it.
“Only people, who know nothing about education, make derogatory statements about Makerere. Makerere is the best university in Africa and as well in one of the best universities in the whole world, “he said.
He appealed to government to increase funding for the university and he was mostly concerned with the infrastructural situation, citing halls of residences which he said are in poor conditions.
In his speech that was read by Prime Minister Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda, president Museveni pledged continued Government support towards Makerere and the ongoing innovations.
He said, he was happy to hear that some of the projects he launched in 2012 have since been
kicked off, before he re-echoed his promise to fulfill the staff salary pay rise in the next financial year.
Education Minister Hon. Jessica Alupo who was also represented, challenged Makerere University to be the centre of change throughout East Africa and called upon the private and public sectors to focus on Makerere.
“Mr. Vice Chancellor, you are steering a University that has great potential, with a vibrant student base. One of the challenges before you right now is to see that this University continues to positively impact on our industrialization as a country. We all know that industrialization is key in driving world economies. I call upon the private and public sectors to look up Makerere and partner with her in advancing many of the ongoing innovations,’’ she said.