Makerere University Vice Chancellor, Professor
Barnabas Nawangwe has expressed disappointment over the importation of
graduation gowns from China.
On Wednesday, URN broke a story quoting Makerere
University officials confirm that they had secured 7,000 out of the more than
13,000 gowns required for the 70th graduation ceremonies scheduled for next
Sources disclosed to URN that the gowns had
just arrived from China, which explained their delayed issuance to students.
news triggered an outburst on social media with some people
questioning whether the country lacks capacity to produce gowns locally.
This morning, Makerere University
Vice Chancellor, Professor Barnabas Nawangwe, said they are equally concerned by
the contractor decided to import the gowns instead of
supporting the local economy.
“Of course this is going to be addressed by Council. Council
is the overall governing body it is going to ask questions why did it happen
like this? And once council address that we will inform you,” Professor
Nawangwe had initially said they were expecting gowns from
Team Uniform Limited, the sole supplier of the patented Makerere University
“Where he makes them, how he makes them provided he makes
them to the desired standards and specifications that we have given him that is
what is important,” Professor Nawangwe.
He however argues that as a public institution, they are
bothered that the local producers were edged out by the supplier.
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Upon arrival of the first consignment of the
gowns, Alfred Masikye Namoah, the Makerere University Academic Registrar instructed
all College and School Registrars to report to the central stores to collect
the gowns for the graduands in their respective colleges.
The distribution of the gowns kicked off this morning in
various units of the institution. Our reporter visited the College of
Agriculture and Environmental Sciences (CAES and College of Education and
External Studies (CEES) where the distribution was already taking place, amidst
scuffles and congestion.
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By 1:00PM, there was no sign of distribution of gowns at the
College of Humanities and Social Sciences (CHUSS). Prospective graduands were
seen walking from corner to corner of the faculty of arts building.
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In 2018, Makerere University imposed a
mandatory fee of Shillings 98,000 on each student for a patented Gown. Unlike
in previous years, students are expected to only use the exclusive Makerere
University Graduation gown.
Nawangwe blames the late distribution of the gowns to the
late supply by the contractor who he says demanded for advance payment, which wasn’t
done in time.