MUK To Investigate MasterCard Admissions Scandal
By Venenscias Kiiza
Makerere University Kampala has said it is investigating allegations made by students that some of their colleagues appeared on the successful list of the MasterCard foundation scholars program unbefitting.
Last week we reported of how a section of students who did not make it threatened to reveal the names of officials who asked money from them in order to appear there.
Speaking to this reporter the chairman of MasterCard scholarships steering committee Prof Barnabus Nawangwe, said they are not taking the allegations lightly, but they will instead investigate the matter to find out the truth.
“We are investigating the matter, we are also calling upon those students to come to us and reveal the exact officials who asked money from them. This is not an allegation we can take lightly because there has been individuals envious about the program and they want to see it fail,” Nawangwe said.
He has since revealed that over 2000 students applied for the scholarships, however only 200 made it.
The scholarship covers Tuition, Functional Fee and accommodation.
The University entered a partnership with MasterCard Foundation to offer scholarships to 1,000 academically bright but economically disadvantaged youth from Africa to study at Makerere University from 2013 to 2023.
A project worth Shs63bn ( $ 20,989,965.15) was implemented at Makerere University with the aim of developing the next generation of African Leaders and also to promote the strategic objectives of Makerere University and MasterCard Foundation in contributing to Africa’s higher education sector and development.
Nawangwe explained that the applicants had to go through a through process with various committees in place to ensure right candidates are selected.
“According to the reports, the selection committee which is headed by Dr. Aaron Mushengyenzi even went to the home villages of the applicants to establish their financial status in their homes. They followed that criteria and indeed all these who appeared deserve,” he added.
After discussions with the donors, Makerere University has since also appointed full time staff to coordinate the project which has been initially out sourcing from the university staff.
It should be noted that, the MasterCard Foundation (MCF) last year had suspended the Shs63bn scholarship programme at Makerere University after discovering that the university had flouted guidelines on governance, finance oversight, staffing, programme planning and implementation. The university had also failed to beat set deadlines.
With a stern warning the project was reinstated following the intervention of the then chancellor Prof Mondo Kagonyera ,Prime minister Dr Rugunda who had to write to MCF president and CEO Reeta Roy, chief finance officer Peggy Woo, and Kim Kerr, MCF’s deputy director of education and learning.