Secrets why five assistant information technology officers in the Directorate of ICT at Kyambogo University quit their jobs have emerged.
These were initially former students of Kyambogo University who graduated in 2010 with degrees in telecommunications engineering. As their final year project, they invented a University Management system which they named “E-Kampus”.
The aim of the system was to improve the ordinary student’s university experience. Before, a student had to move from office to office, stand in long queues and deal with a lot of paperwork to complete all manner of University processes such as registration, examination permits, fees payment, graduation and others.
The University was beset with loss and confusion of students’ academic and financial records was also rampant. The pioneering E-Kampus system did away with all these problems. The ex-students later built another system named ZEEVARSITY/AIMS which they deployed to initially support other Private Universities and later, Public Universities on Government contract.
The Government of Uganda recognized and awarded AIMS/ZEE VARSITY as one of the best local IT solutions in the Country. It has now emerged that Kyambogo officials have ganged up with other universities to kick out the Academic Information Management System (AIMS) and introduce their own new scheme dubbed ACMIS (Academic Certified Management Information System). This means kicking out the former students’ system.
“All five (5) ex-students fully handed over when they resigned and have not returned to the Directorate since they resigned between December 2020 and April 2021,” a source continues “As the Directorate was consistently embroiled in scandal and crime after crime and management did nothing about it, the five ex-students turned staff chose to disassociate themselves from the embattled directorate by resigning.”
Pepper Digital has learnt that there was too much rot at the directorate—serious ethical and capacity problems—and these forced the five staff out.
According to an insider, a lot of crimes have been committed at the directorate but management kept a deaf ear. There is a transcripts scam in which Kyambogo University lost over Ug. 330,000,000.
A committee that the University vice-chancellor Professor Elly Katunguka set up found that one Okuonzi was responsible for causing the University Financial loss but only gave him a caution. “Causing financial loss to the government is a crime in Uganda. The Police CID investigations over this matter have taken years and stalled. Mr. Okuonzi is yet to be brought to justice for this crime,” a source adds.
There were also concerns over the academic qualifications of Okuonzi and one Tumusiime, both of whom claim to have obtained a PhD and a degree from a University in Burkina Faso in 2014.
Management is also accused of not following up on such a matter which had an impact on the performance of the Directorate.
There were also concerns about originating and completing questionable procurements in which the University allegedly paid Hundreds of millions of shillings to a briefcase company named Compusoft Uganda Limited.
“On 3 August 2021, a police complaint over Okuonzi and Tumusiime was lodged at CID Headquarters since the briefcase company purported to sell our own software to Kyambogo University. Investigations are ongoing. The matter was also reported to the Inspector General of Government but no action has been taken.”
There are further reports of embezzlement of over Ugx. 1,600,000,000 regarding a project under the Education Information Management System (EMIS) Ministry of ICT & National Guidance. The matter was reported to CID Police Headquarters on 3 August 2021. The matter is under police investigations under GEF 710/2021 and Tumusiime and Okuonzi recorded police statements on 13 August 2021.
“As the Directorate is consistently embroiled in scandal and crime after crime and management do nothing about it, the 5 ex-students chose to disassociate themselves from the embattled directorate. The law in Uganda and the Human Resources Manual requires that officials charged with these serious offences are interdicted. However, these two employees have never been suspended for all the above crimes leading to questions over what personal interests the professor has in shielding these two officials from due process of the law.”
The directorate also reportedly lacks structures, staff training and evaluation and policies to guide it.
“The ICT Directorate in Kyambogo has always had just one Director and no Deputy. The rest of the staff are designated “Assistant Technology Officers” and no one has ever been promoted since the Directorate started over 7 years ago. There is no other level of staff between the Director and the Assistant Technology Officers. Okuonzi is the Directorate and the Directorate is Okuonzi; if he left the Directorate crumbles,” an insider revealed and goes on to add that “There has never been any staff training or staff evaluation in the rapidly changing IT industry in which the Directorate is expected to operate. The Directorate has no policies at all. Non-staff members such as Aaron, have unrestricted access to the University data centre, University property including laptops, routers, switches and log-in credentials.”