BY NICHOLAS OPOLOT AND BRIGHT NIWAHA
The budget for financial year dominated the deliberations of the guild week at Uganda Christian University (UCU) from March 20 to 25.
The proposed guild budget totalling to Shs395,521,500 was presented by Steven Bugembe, the finance minister, in accordance with the parliamentary rules of procedure.
The finance minister is mandated to present the proposed budget, which, when approved by parliament, is sent to the Director of Student Affairs, and the DVC Finance and Administration.
Funds for the budget will be received majorly from students’ activity fees, which are expected to be Shs387,171,500 while the guild bazaars will raise Shs2.5million.
The Vice Guild President, Mr Allan Emolot, told the Standard recently that compared to previous budgets, this financial year’s budget has taken much longer than expected to be passed because of awaiting approval from the university senate.
“Our budget was affected by the changes in the university financial year plan, which we are aware of, and is expected to be passed around June,” Emolot said.
The Guild Constitution, Article 95(3), provides that the Guild Parliament shall pass the budget before the beginning of each fiscal year after approval from the financial advisor and the University Council, through the student affairs board.
Mr Bugembe thus confirmed that there had been delays after communication from the finance office that the Easter Semester had a low turn-over of students, leading to shortage of funds for the proposed budget.
After the budget presentation, students were given an opportunity to respond and make suggestions for critical sectors. As a result, the education ministry has the lion’s share of Shs80m.
The guest speaker, Paul Amoru, the MP for Dokolo North, addressed students on success, failure and accountability. He noted that students should focus on building a vast network of social capital as one of the key indicators to success after graduation.
“The Guild Government must be consistent in giving accountability for their actions. Avoid selective credit to overcome bad outcomes. A moral government always takes responsibility for its outcomes,” Amoru said.
He commended the university’s resource envelope as arguably one of the biggest university guild budgets in Uganda.
Various activities were held to mark the Guild Week, ranging from community cleaning in Wandegeya and Bugujju, gender mentorship sessions and guild activities awareness.
Additionally, the final inter-course football competition and financial aid opportunity awareness were held and on Friday March 24, before a parliamentary session was convened on the same day.
The general assembly took place at Nkoyoyo Hall, and was crowned by dinner and a concert.