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By Eric Luyimbazi

Education Minister Janet Museveni has chosen and appointed senior city lawyer Innocent Kihika to serve as the Makerere Governing Council member replacing AG Kiwanuka Kiryowa (aka KK) who resigned on the account of being very busy having become a cabinet member. KK was one of the representatives of the Education Ministry on the governing Council and was also chairman of two Council committees namely the Appointments Board and Audit Committee.

Governing Council Chairperson Lorna Magara has opted to have herself replace KK as Chairperson of the Appointments Board which is mandated to have the last word on all high level staff appointments, postings, promotions and transfers at the University. Magara is grateful to KK for all the impactful and excellent work he has been able to do for the country’s premier University.  Magara says KK will be remembered for “his attention to detail, incisive contributions and meticulous legal insights on policy issues during the two years of his membership.”

Magara is hopeful that, riding on his more than 20 years’ experience in legal practice at Shonubi & Co Advocates and being an alumnus of Makerere’s Law School, Kihika will do equally a good job to consolidate the gains of the KK era. An expert on corporate law, Kihika first graduated from Makerere in 1996. At the instigation of Magara, Kihika will be a member of the Appointments Board where the VC Prof Barnabas Nawangwe will now be serving as an ex-officio member who can’t vote nor participate in decision making. This maintains the substantive AB membership at 9.  Besides Kihika, the other new Council members are Guild President Shamim Nambassa and Vice President Nelson Sewanyana who are statutorily mandated to represent the student community. Magara has welcomed and wished them fruitful stay.

In the same vein, Magara is imploring Council members to become more enthusiastic towards the events aimed at marking Makerere’s centenary celebrations which will go on for much of the year 2022; with the crowning grand event being slated for October. She has also directed the management to expedite the installation of biometric machines through which all staff will be required to register their arrival and departure on a daily basis. This is meant to check on absenteeism which Magara says won’t be tolerated anymore among staff members on whom more than 65% of the University budget is expended by way of salaries and wage bill.

Technology will now be used to monitor, identify and expose floppy staff who unnecessarily absent themselves. She is also demanding harmonization regarding companies that are owned by the University in order to overcome fraud and duplication of the scarce resources. She is emphatic in asserting that no private company will be incorporated to carry out a mandate that is already allocated to or being executed by any of the University Colleges.

Since taking over from Eng Wana Etyem, Lorna Magara has executed her Makerere Governing Council job with enthusiasm

As Governing Council members prepare for their beginning of year 2022 retreat, Magara is also warning against leakage of Council-level University secrets. She specifically makes reference on Dr. Josephine Nabukenya who until recently was the Ag. DVC Finance & Administration. That this position qualified Dr. Nabukenya to attend Appointments Board meetings, a privilege she allegedly abused by unleashing confidential AB information to the public via a whatsApp forum. Magara says that Dr. Nabukenya has since admitted guilt in writing and that, going forward, the same will be severely sanctioned.

Magara says the leakage by Nabukenya happened on 23rd October 2021 and was officially reported to her by KK through his protest letter of 27th October. Being one who believes in open methods of work, Magara immediately reached out to Dr. Nabukenya who owned up in writing seeking to be pardoned. In her recent address to Council members, Magara said such leakages and unofficial release of information has been a challenge in the conduct of Council business and those doing it have always been motivated by bad faith and ill-will, a practice that won’t be tolerated going forward.

“We have committed to handling this matter decisively but have consistently failed to obtain the necessary evidence when the leakages occur. I wish to state that leakage of information by a senior Management member is an embarrassment to the University Management,” says Lorna Magara who, on getting confirmation of the leakage, had banned Dr. Nabukenya from attending any governing Council meetings or even meetings of Council committees. Gratefully, Nabukenya has since ceased to be Ag DVC implying she has no business attending such meetings of Council anymore. Magara was reluctant to rule out possible sanctioning of Dr. Nabukenya who naturally remains a University staff employed at the College of Computing where she is one of the most senior academics. That sanctioning this already-admitted wrongdoing by Dr. Nabukenya will prevent future reoccurrence of the same. Being a democrat who believes in consultative leadership as the best way to arrive at inclusive decisions, Magara wants the entire Council membership to participate in arriving at a decision regarding how Dr. Nabukenya should ultimately be sanctioned.






Makerere Governing Council Chairperson Lorna Magara interacts with GCW Thomas Tayebwa who is also a Council member.


Innocent is an Administrative Partner at the Alan Shonubi law firm. He obtained a Bachelor of Laws from Makerere University, Uganda, a Diploma in Legal Practice from Law Development Centre and a Post Graduate Diploma in Telecommunication and Information Technology Law from the University of Strathclyde in Scotland. He has received training from the Institute for Public-Private Partnerships (IP3). He is a member of the International Bar Association, the East Africa Law Society and the Uganda Law Society.

He specializes in energy, mining and infrastructure law. His experience includes advising on several Power Purchase Agreement negotiations between independent power producers and government of Uganda/UETCL plus a large number of electricity generation projects as well as transmission line projects and different aspects of Right of Way. He has also worked on a number of mining transactions within the country and is well versed with the regulatory and licensing architecture of the energy sector in Uganda.

He previously worked in the energy sector as the Head of Legal and Manager Corporate Services of the Uganda Electricity Transmission Company (UETCL) for seven years. This makes him one of the few legal experts with practical knowledge of the energy sector in the country. He is presently recognized by IFLR1000 as one of the country’s leading authorities on matters of energy, technology and communications, oil and gas as well as social infrastructure. Chambers Global recently described him as “the go-to guy for energy law in his firm.”

Innocent Kihika has also facilitated a number of trainings in regard to his area of practice during the National Bar Association trainings. He has also facilitated in the annual mining gatherings in Durban South Africa. He is also a founding member of the Uganda Rights of Way Association (URWA) which is an affiliate of the Internal Rights of Way Association (IRWA). He is also a Notary Public and a Commissioner for Oaths. At Makerere, it remains to be seen if he will measure up to the high standards of toughness his predecessor KK has been able to set in the last two years of his Council membership. (For comments on this story, call, text or whatsapp us on 0705579994 [whatsapp line], 0779411734, 0200900416 or email us




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