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By Mulengera Reporters

Determined to soldier on and ensure his UTAMU University dream doesn’t fail, despite betrayal from some of the colleagues with whom he founded it, Prof Venescias Baryamureeba recently called a high level meeting and disclosed why members shouldn’t lose hope.

Truth is that, on becoming uncomfortable working with the UTAMU vision bearer for a variety of reasons, many colleagues have acrimoniously been walking out of UTAMU in preference for better opportunities elsewhere hence the need for Baryamureeba to give assurances to those still hanging in there that their endurance will in the end not be in vain (see related reporting;

Held in Kampala, the Baryamureeba morale-boosting meeting was attended by key UTAMU stakeholders namely Kenneth Bagarukayo, Dr. Johnson Mwebaze, Dr. Fredrick Edward Kitoogo and Christine Tumuhairwe who was secretary and minuted everything. Prof Florence Tushabe and Savio Martins were recorded as among those absent with apology. Prof Baryamureeba, who acrimoniously left Makerere where he was VC in 2013, nevertheless briefed the meeting on many things including an offer from the Catholic Church (Kampala Archdiocese) of 20 acres of prime land in Matugga along Kampala-Bombo road. The Professor from Ibanda informed excited members at the meeting that this was to be a heavily discounted lease offer the Catholic Church was making to support his UTAMU dream through their Kampala Archdiocese Land Board.

Baryamureeba further informed the meeting that the Catholic Church-owned Centenary Bank had been instructed to support UTAMU with a soft loan of Shs160m to facilitate the final payment of the relevant fees to have the lease offer processes completed and the subsequent transfer effected into the names of UTAMU which can use the 20 acres to have a modern campus to facilitate accommodation, research, teaching, training and learning of their students. The loan can then be gradually paid back to Centenary Bank under very flexible terms (very low interest and longer repayment period).

Baryamureeba is himself a practicing Catholic and when still Makerere VC, he famously had a very good relationship with Cardinal Wamala who he would even name on his official documents as a referee. Baryamureeba further informed colleagues at the meeting that the Centenary Bank management would dispatch the Shs160m to enable Kampala Archdiocese Land Board officials to transfer the 20 acres as soon as their audit teams were done examining UTAMU bank management accounts to ascertain the financial position of the University project whose growth the Catholic Church would like to support and associate itself with.

 Getting their own premises will be very good news that will save UTAMU (in existence for now 7 years) from the pain of having to operate in rented premises in Bugolobi owned by Enterprise Uganda boss Charles Ocici whose patience has progressively been running out regarding rental arrears. Indeed, it’s not only them (UTAMU); having to pay very exorbitant rent is a factor constraining many businesses in Uganda often strangling many of them into extinction within their first year.

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