Mak chancellor job: Ex-minister Sekitoleko kicked out, don with ‘fake’ PhD picked

Makerere University has kicked out former Agriculture minister Victoria Sekitoleko from the race for chancellor job in favour of Prof. William Bazeyo whose PhD is questionable.

The position fell vacant last year following the expiry of Prof Ezra Suruma’s four year-two terms contract.

Four people applied for the job.

They include former Agriculture minister Victoria Sekitoleko; former Chairperson, Makerere University Council, Eng. Dr Charles Wana Etyem; former deputy vice chancellor in charge of finance and administration at Makerere University, Prof. William Bazeyo; and former vice chancellor of Gulu University Prof. Jack H. Pen-Mogi Nyeko.

Sources told us that Prof. Nyeko did not even make it to the shortlist.

The remaining three were presented to the Council, which had to pick two names and submit them to the Visitor (President Museveni) for him to appoint one of them, in line with the Universities and Other Tertiary Institutions Act.

We have now learnt that the Council has since forwarded Bazeyo and Etyem names to President Museveni kicking out Sekitoleko.

“Sekitoleko has a higher profile compared to the two, but she has been kicked out,” said a source.

“What is shameful is that they [Council] have forwarded Bazeyo whose PhD was questioned. And they want the same person to preside over conferment of degrees, masters and PhDs? Makerere is now a joke,” a concerned University staff member expressed his dissatisfaction with Council’s choice.

The search committee had set the minimum age of 55 and the maximum age of 75 at the time of nomination, must not be a serving chancellor, vice chancellor, or staff of any academic institution, and must not be a registered student of Uganda.

The job also required someone to be a citizen of Uganda, have at least a bachelor’s degree from a recognized higher institution of learning, and be an eminent person of high integrity and with good public relations.

The Chancellor is the titular head of the University. He presides at all ceremonial assemblies of the University and in this name, confers degrees and other academic titles and distinctions.

BAZEYO PHD SAGA

Prof. Bazeyo reportedly obtained his PhD from Hawaii based Atlantic International University which is not accredited by agencies recognized by the United State Department of Education.

And if the institution is not recognized then all degrees and other awards by the same university are regarded as ‘fake’, according to some academicians.

When the matter first arose in 2020, it was forwarded to the National Council for Higher Education for determination which they subsequently did.

On July 29, 2020, Dr. Puis Achanga the acting director of quality assurance and accreditation at NCHE noted that the University in question was not recognized by the council.

“The purpose of this letter is to inform you that Atlantic International University is not accredited by the US department of education. Awards of Atlantic International University are therefore not recognized by the National Council for Higher Education,” a letter to Alfred Masikye Namoah, then Academic Registrar Makerere University reads in part.

On its official website, AIU admits that it is not accredited by an accrediting agency recognized by the United States Secretary of Education. The institution, however, notes that it is accredited by the Accreditation Service for International Schools, Colleges, and Universities which is an independent UK quality assurance body specializing in the institutional accreditation of education providers worldwide.

AUI goes on to explain how the accreditation factor may affect its potential students advising them to consider how it may affect their interests.

“In some cases, accredited colleges may not accept for transfer courses and degrees completed at unaccredited colleges and some employers may require an accredited degree as a basis for eligibility for employment. Potential students should consider how the above may affect their interests,” the university disclaimer reads in part.

WHO IS SEKITOLEKO

Some concerned university members feel Sekitoleko deserved the job and ranks above Bazeyo and Etyem but was unfairly kicked out.

She is currently chairperson of the governing board of Uganda Agribusiness Alliance. The purpose of the Uganda Agribusiness Business Alliance is to unite all those involved in the industry to best optimize their ability to profitably and sustainably pursue the many global opportunities that present themselves as part of competing in the world’s largest industry.

She is a former Minister of Agriculture in the Ugandan government, a post she held from 1986 to 1995. She was a representative for the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in China, Mongolia, and South Korea (October 2006 – April 2011).

She previously served as the FAO’s representative in Ethiopia to the African Union (AU), and to the Economic Community for Africa (ECA) (2005–2006). She was FAO Sub Regional Representative to Eastern and Southern Africa, based at Harare, Zimbabwe (1995–2004).

She once served on the board of Biyinzika Poultry International Limited (BPIL).

Sekitoleko was educated at Makerere University in Kampala, where she attained a BSc in Agriculture majoring in Farm Management and Extension (1970–1973).In 1983, she attended the Eastern and Southern Africa Management Institute (ESAMI) where she obtained a Certificate in Agriculture Project Identification, Appraisal and Management. In 2003 she attended the Zimbabwe Institute of Systemic Counseling, obtaining a Certificate in Systemic Counselling. In 2004, she attended the Limpopo University in South Africa (in conjunction with University of southern Hampshire, USA) where she obtained a Certificate in Micro Enterprise and Development.

In Parliament Sekitoleko was a member of the National Resistance Council (NRC).

Sekitoleko joined the Business and Professional Women Kampala (BWP) in 2013. She also joined Uganda Women Entrepreneurs Association Limited (UWEAL) in the same year.

In 2010 Sekitoleko founded the Uganda Community Cultural Center which trades as Speakers Forum. Under the Speakers Forum, she does Public Speaking and Community libraries. The offices are found at Victoria House in Bukoto opposite Kadic Hospital. She founded the forum to provide a platform for professionals to become world class presenters. To date, she spends most of her time at the Speakers Forum where she directs the training of her clientele in public speaking. She provides for them a platform to practice and participate in debates and discussions. At the speakers forum, people of all walks of life gather every end of month to share ideas and discuss issues that affect their lives.

During her time as a diplomat in China, Sekitoleko became inspired by the Chinese culture, loved to travel and always maintained a travelogue.

Through the Speakers Forum, Sekitoleko also established and supports community libraries, offering a wide selection of books to empower young people with quality information to improve their reading culture. Such libraries include the one at Bukoto, a suburb in Kampala.

This Bukoto library also provides comprehensive information about Chinese culture and Uganda culture. Others are at Budondo Headquarters, Namulesa trading center, Wanyange, and also facilitated the library at Life Skills Center, Bugembe where high school students go for training during Holidays. The former diplomat has helped the launching of many other libraries for example at Uphill Nursery and Primary School in Bugobya in Jinja district, Namaganga, Kigalagala community libraries in Busede subcounty, Jinja, Bugodi in Mayuge District, Kasambira in Kamuli District, Nkondo, Buyende district, and Bubaale Primary School, Kamuli District.

Sekitoleko continues to work for the community as she believes that giving back to the community is part and parcel of Development. In 2012, Sekitoleko became a Rotarian. She is the Charter President of Rotary Club of Kampala-Impala.

She resides in Ntinda at her retirement home. Her main mission is: To enhance Social, Economic Development of the poor through empowering them to take charge of their destiny.

 

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