By Max Patrico Ocaido
Members of Parliament from Teso sub region have demanded for the immediate opening of the Soroti University which was created by government officially as a public institution, in June 2015.
This was when then minister of Education, Science and Technology and Sports, Jessica Alupo, introduced a Statutory Instrument followed by a resolution of Parliament to the same effect. However, since then the University has not admitted its pioneer students.
During plenary on Wednesday, where Parliament was debating the motion for adoption of the report of the Committee on Budget on the National Budget Framework Paper FY 2018/19-2022-23, Teso MPs demanded for the opening of Soroti University that was supposed to have been opened in August last year.
“Soroti University is critical and as we talk now National Council for Higher Education (NCHE) refused to open the University. I condemn this act, and NCHE must come out to open the university without discussion because everything is in place. This Parliament gave money to the University, unfortunately NCHE has refused to open it,” David Abala, Ngora County MP said.
Katakwi district Woman MP Violet Akurut decried the poor academic performance in eastern Uganda and in particular Teso, blaming it on the imbalanced infrastructure. Akurut equally urged government to as soon as possible open Soroti University that is meant to be a centre of Academic Excellence and Professionalism in Teso by providing knowledge, skills and innovations for sustainable development and transformation.
Recently, Soroti University management announced that they were ready to admit their pioneer students, but NCHE blocked the move saying that the public institution still has unfinished structures.
Meanwhile, Abala also called for closure of Ministry for Teso Affairs saying it is ‘useless’ because it has no budget.
“There is a big issue with Teso affairs ministry. This is the only ministry without a budget. It has a plan but no budget. It is also the only ministry without a flag. If we can’t have a budget for this ministry in this new Financial Year then it is useless to have it and should be closed for good,” Abala said.
Agnes Akiror Egunyu is the current minster for Teso Affairs-a position she got after Amongin Aporu was dropped from the 2016 cabinet reshuffle having lost in the general poll.