However, the MPs were reluctant to listen to any more demands from the University official until a full report on the previous allocations is provided. Opolot noted that the university lacks an accounting officer currently.
The Education Committee has thrown out Soroti
University for alleged failure to provide accountability for Shillings 5.3
billion. The team had appeared before the Committee led by the Vice Chancellor,
Prof. Robert Ikoja Odongo and Academic Registrar, James Okello Opolot to
explain their budget frame work paper for the 2020/2021 financial year.
Trouble for the officials started when
Prof. Ikoja noted that the University will require additional Shillings 16.4
billion to construct an anatomy laboratory. This is in addition to Shillings
17.7 billion allocated to the university in the 2020/2021 financial year.
His submission left the Committee chairperson, Jacob
Opolot confounded since according to the committee, Shillings 5.3
billion was provided to the university for the same task through a supplementary budget. Opolot
was alarmed that no work has been done so far and instead management was asking
for additional funds to start construction.
He expressed frustration with
Soroti University, saying the administration is dogged by corruption scandals
and nearly half of the top managers had been indicted and charged with
corruption offences. Opolot also interrogated the Vice Chancellor on what had led
to the resignation of several University Council members.
In his response, Prof.
Odongo said that he didn’t know why the council members resigned; saying he
only received their resignations letter, which didn’t specify any reasons. Odongo had also requested for Shillings 9.4
billion in extra wage and non-wage funding and Shillings 3 billion to
collaborate with Soroti Hospital to expand the surgical theaters, mortuary and but
However, the MPs were reluctant
to listen to any more demands from the University official until a full report
on the previous allocations is provided. Opolot noted that the university lacks
an accounting officer currently. He warned that should the university fail to improve its affairs;
the committee will not receive its ministerial policy statement. He gave the
officials up to March to solve their issues.
//Cue in: “one is fighting…
Cue out:…submit that report.”//
Lira Woman MP, Joy Atim Ongom and Rubaga North MP, Moses
Kasibante emphasized the need for the University management to account for funds
earlier appropriated to them by parliament before any further discussions on
In April last year, the Soroti University
Secretary, Ruth Etibot Achimo was arraigned before the Anti-Corruption Court
and charged with diversion of Shillings 1.6 billion meant for capital
development to payment of employee allowances, rent, retainer fees, inland
travel disbursement and legal fees.
Four other Soroti university officials were jointly charged
for mismanagement of Shillings 15.9 million. They included the Assistant Estates
Officer, David Omeke, Internal Auditor, James Odongo, Acting Bursar, Gilbert
Otim and Acting University Secretary, Samuel Omoding.
The four are reported to have requisitioned,
processed and made payment of Shillings 15.9 million to themselves and to
others purportedly to facilitate their participation in the high level
inauguration of the Private-Public-Partnership Conference of 2019 at Kampala
Serena Hotel that ran from September 16th to 18th 2019.
This followed complaints received by the Anti–Corruption Unit
in State House relating to abuse of office, embezzlement, causing financial
loss, soliciting and bribery and mismanagement of Shillings 5.3 billion, among