Parliament has given Government the green light to take over Mountains of the Moon University in Fortportal city- Central Western Uganda as a public institution of higher learning.
Mountains of the Moon University, becomes the second private institution to be taken over by the government after Kabale University in 2018.
The Minister of State for Higher Education, Dr. John Chrysostom Muyingo, tabled the motion to authorize Government to take over Mountains of the Moon as a public University on September 7, 2021 during a plenary session chaired by Speaker Jacob Oulanyah.
Muyingo told Parliament that Cabinet approved the takeover of the institution as a Public University to enable it provide quality teaching and learning that is relevant and competitive in the 21st century.
He explained that taking over the institution as a public university would address the issue of regional balance and equity since there is no public university in the Rwenzori sub-region.
“It is important to take it over as a Public University following a recommendation by the National Council for Higher Education-NCHE,” said Muyingo.
Mountains of the Moon University was established in June 2002 by Hon. Justice Seth Manyindo, Prof. Edward Rugumayo and the late Rev. Albert Byaruhanga as an indigenous community institution of higher learning to serve the seven districts of Bundibugyo, Kabarole, Kamwenge, Kasese, Kyegegwa, Kyenjojo and Ntoroko which constitute Rwenzori sub region in Central Western Uganda and opened its doors to the public in 2005.
In 2017, top management of the Mountains of the Moon University officially asked Government to take over the institution as a public University.
Following the request by the University, the Ministry of Education in 2019 appointed a committee to oversee the transition of the university to a public university.
The committee comprised of Dr. Pius Coxwell Achanga as the Chairperson, Prof. John Kasenene as Vice-Chairperson, Dr. Edmond Kagambe as the Secretary and Grace Kazooba as a Committee member.
Bukholi Central MP Solomon Silwany and Bugiri Municipality MP Asuman Basalirwa were, however, concern that the request to take over Busoga University as a Public University had come earlier.
The Minister of Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities, Tom Butime, one among the founders, informed the Members that the idea behind starting the University was to meet the knowledge need and not to make any profit.
He further revealed that, while starting the University, they agreed that in case of any eventuality, all the assets, funds among other things would go to a charity.
“The Minister said that the University will focus on Agriculture, Tourism, Environmental Conservation geared towards promoting agro-processing, value addition and marketing,” said Butime.
Kira Municipality MP Ibrahim Ssemujju also supported the motion but disagreed with Muyingo’s argument that the Rwenzori region also needed a public university saying that the matter shouldn’t be tribal.
The Leader of Opposition Mathias Mpuuga called upon the Government to come up with a clear policy of the takeover of private institutions by Government