Bishop Mwesigwa tasks ministers to follow up Shs7b 2011 government pledge for Bishop Stuart University
By Amos Kakungulu
Mbarara – The Bishop of Ankole Diocese Dr. Sheldon Mwesigwa has appealed to the Minister of ICT Chris Baryomunsi and his colleague, Ephraim Kamuntu, the only presidential advisor who sits in cabinet to take responsibility and follow up a government pledge of Shs7.3b that was meant to support the construction of a science laboratory block at Bishop Stuart University in Mbarara.
While addressing the congregation at the 18th graduation ceremony of Bishop Stuart University at Riverside Grounds on Friday 24th March, Bishop Mwesigwa told the Minister of ICT and National Guidance Dr. Chris Baryomunsi that president Yoweri Museveni pledged Shs7.3b towards the construction of a science laboratory block which is under construction but the pledge has never been fulfilled.
This was pledged during the commissioning of the construction of a library at the university in 2011. He pledged the money in his efforts of promoting and strengthening science education in Ugandan universities.
Before Minister Baryomunsi was ushered to the graduation grounds, he toured the university, and laid on behalf of the the First Lady and Minister of Education and Sports Janet Kataha Museveni a foundation stone at the science laboratory at the university.
Baryomunsi represented the First Lady who was expected as the chief guest at the graduation. About 1,661 graduated with different honours including PhDs, Masters, Postgraduate, Bachelor’s degrees, diplomas and certificates.
In his speech at the graduation, Bishop Mwesigwa who is the Chancellor of this university reminded the presidential advisor about the issue of the presidential pledge made in 2011 for the construction of a science laboratory.
Bishop Mwesigwa tasked the two leaders to make a follow up about the issue.
“We thank God for the government support. The presidential pledge on the science lab which we have just laid a foundation stone by the honourable Minister. But I want to appeal to you that you try to follow-up the presidential pledge about our science lab. Guest of honor we trust and hope that will be done through you,” Bishop Mwesigwa said.
In response, Baryomunsi assured the Chancellor and the entire university that he must deliver the message about the presidential pledge about the science laboratory block.
“Mr. Chancellor sir, this morning before I came here, I laid on behalf of the First Lady the foundation stone on science laboratory, a very huge building but it’s not yet completed and you made me aware that there are more resources which you are expecting from the previous pledges from the government ,and I undertook to take this message and once you send, I will deliver it. The message will reach and we shall work on it, that I can assure you that many other forms of support that will come from government,” Baryomunsi said.
The Minister also pledged a collaboration from the Ministry of ICT with Bishop Stuart University to support the university’s projects as far as ICT programs as concerned.
“As a Minister responsible for ICT, I have told the Chancellor that later I will come on my own as a Minister for ICT to visit you as a university and see how we can have a collaboration as Ministry of ICT and National Guidance with the university. Because my key responsibility as a Minister of ICT is to drive the digital transformation agenda in the country and therefore am pleased to see that this university is exploring population of technology,” he added.