KAMPALA – Butambala MP Muwanga Kivumbi has accused Makerere University management of turning graduation gowns into a business venture.
Ahead of the university’s 70th graduation ceremony which starts on Tuesday, January 14, 2020, several graduands are yet to receive their gowns as the university is locked up in a dispute with the supplier who has delayed delivering all the attire since he exports it from China.
But Mr Kivumba accused the university of customizing the gowns to make money out of them.
“For you to get a degree, must you have a gown? The last time I graduated, I bought my gown from Wandegeya. I do not remember a university customising a gown. I think Makerere is making it a business venture to sell gowns. It is extremely unfortunate. Makerere changed when it became a business-oriented entity that wants to make a profit,” he said on Monday.
The university management has come under fire for importing the gowns, defying the call by President Museveni and other leaders to promote the locally made products under Buy Uganda Build Uganda (BUBU) Policy. However, the university leadership has blamed the contractor for the mess.
Morrison Rwakakamba, a policy expert, agreed that whereas gowns are important, the university leadership should have considered sourcing them locally.
“I find the Makerere gowns important. I hope the situation gets resolved because symbolism in societies is important. The concept of BUBU is broader, gowns are some of the things our people can do. However, it takes planning to do all this,” he said.
But the communications manager at Makerere University, Dr Muhammad Kiggundu, “I want to assure students, parents and everyone that each graduating student will be able to have a gown. We have gotten emergency measures to get the gowns. We regret the anxiety caused by the gown issue, but it is our responsibility to deliver the gowns which we are going to do. Right now, our focus is about graduation. We shall look into the issue of China after graduation. However, the design of the gowns was done in Uganda.”