UK based Buckingham University has suspended the validation of degrees from their Uganda partners – Victoria University over the Anti- Homosexuality Bill.
According to a statement issued on Tuesday afternoon that Red Pepper online has been able to see, the University of Buckingham action arises from concerns about Uganda’s awaiting anti homosexuality bill and restrictions to freedom of speech in the country.
Below is the full statement from Buckingham University:
January 8, 2013
Over the last few months, the University of Buckingham has been in discussions with our partners, Edulink, who own Victoria University in Kampala, Uganda, about our continued validation of some of Victoria University’s courses. We have both become increasingly concerned about the proposed legislation in Uganda on homosexuality and in particular the constraints on freedom of speech in this area. In the light of this we have agreed to suspend our validation on the assurance that Edulink would produce viable arrangements for existing students on our validated courses to complete their studies. We will of course assist Edulink with any validation support needed to achieve this.
According to the statement, an arrangement will be made to cater for continuing students to finish their courses.
There has been a standoff between Uganda and the international community over the anti-homosexuality bill.
In 2009, Ndorwa West Member of Parliament David Bahati tabled before Parliament a bill that seeks to criminalize homosexual acts in Uganda although the vice is already illegal.
Bahati’s move drew international condemnation especially from western countries where the act is legal with many countries including the U.S threatening to slash aid to Uganda forcing the government to shelve the bill.
However last year, Bahati revealed he was going to resurrect the bill to deal with the vice which he says has put the future of the family in jeopardy.
However, Victoria University has issued a statement clarifying the news saying they are only ending their relationship with Buckingham University though their operations in Uganda will go ahead.
Although the University has firmly stated it will not be affected, existence of the Kamwokya based institution is also uncertain considering the University of Buckingham has been its chief financier with whose funding the former will be crippled forcing it to shut down.
This also means that the future of Sports Club Victoria University, a football club run by the University now hangs in balance and this news will come as a setback to those who had promising careers whose future at the club is now uncertain should the institution be affected by the the suspension of the validation in any way.