Corruption is the way of life in Uganda hence not being corrupt is out of the norm. A few days ago, someone said that when the Uganda Police need some operation money and they have no cash on hand, the last resort is to get from the collections made by Traffic Officers on the road. My informer said that this instruction was given in his presence while he was at the Police Station when a Policeman was told to go and get shs 100,000 from those on the road! When talk is made about a country gone to the dogs, it is simply Uganda. The traffic officers have a duty to see that Government gets money from the express penalties issued to vehicle drivers, but that in the execution of this job, not all offenders are issued with receipts, a number pay cash and this cash is what helps so many execute official and non official duties in addition to bridging the not worth talking about salaries these people get given the cost of living in Uganda.
When the presidential campaigns were on, we told Ugandan that enough was enough with Museveni’s overstay in Government in that enough damage had been done and time was ripe to see the anomalies rectified, little did we know that NRM uses the poverty of the masses as one means to see its continued governance of the country. Some people are surprised the high cost of virtually everything in the country, but what would be expected when the NRM realized that dishing out shs 30,000 to all who wanted it could earn them new tenure in office. So, who ever thinks that the Museveni Government is seriously interested in fighting mass poverty simply deceives himself.
In such circumstances; one finds it a hard struggle to sacrifice to preach and practice no corruption when his or her efforts are not funded. If for instance one has to run an organization to preach no corruption and such an organization is not Government or donor funded you imagine the way he can be able to have an influential mission. Everything is virtually expensive; one has to take children to school where even in the Government aided schools it simply does not make a difference because across the board a parent/benefactor has to raise substantial amounts of money to see the child in school.
While the Makerere University Council has all along wanted to increase tuition fees to what they deem is in line with other Universities in the region, it is true that they have succeeded to raise additional fees through non – fees charges as is illustrated below (in the ever depreciating Uganda Shilling):
1) A form filled by a Private Student applying to the University has to be paid for shs 52,000. What is absurd and unfortunate in the corruption ridden Uganda is the way everybody is unbothered about the shs 2,000 additional fees charged under the guise of Ledger fee, this as far as I am concerned is robbery which the NRM should see stopped. It is not clear whether it is State House where this money is remitted, if it is not so, the Government of Uganda should make sure that this stupid tax is stopped.
2) Makerere University talks about what they call functional fees (payable to the University) as below:
i. Registration fee per year – 100,000
ii. Examination fee per year – 100,000
iii. Library fees per year – 20,000
iv. Development fee per year – 123,500
v. Contribution towards research fund per year – 20,000
vi. Technology fee per year – 50,000
vii. Internship/Field attachment fee per Semester 100,000
viii. University identity card – 15,000
ix. Rules and caution – 2,000
x. Academic Gown – 16,000
3) Other Fees (payable to the University)
a. Application fee (payable at the time of application) – 20,000
b. Late Registration (Surcharge) fee – 50,000
c. Accommodation – Fee per semester – 220,000
d. Certification fee per copy – 3,000
e. Re-examination fee per course – 20,000
f. Graduation fee on Graduation – 30,000
g. Convocation fee on Graduation – 10,000
h. Certificate fee on Graduation – 20,000
i. Transcript fee on Graduation – 20,000
REGARDING FEES PAYMENT
i. All fees are payable in full at the beginning of the Academic year or in two installments at the beginning of each semester.
ii. Every privately sponsored student is obliged to pay all the Functional fees and the Tuition fees before he/she can be registered and allowed to attend classes as well as being issued with the University Identity Card. Payment of all Tuition fees must be completed within three weeks of a semester or else your place will be forfeited to another candidate.
iii. The University Council reserves the right to vary fees chargeable any time with or without prior notice.
You can imagine the above! That is the structure in a Museveni led Government which claims is concerned about the welfare of the people of Uganda. I don’t know how many people are employed by the Government and have a take home pay of shs 500,000 or more. Does such a fee structure make sense when there is a Government concerned about the welfare of the people it leads? It is absurd that the same insensitive Government is sponsoring the so-called excelling students. These are majority from the well to do who are majority beneficiary of corruption that is the order of the day, the politicians who don’t mind exploiting the people as long as they can live lavish lives.
What I can say is the NRM leadership is the most unfortunate thing that has happened to Uganda, and whether this is a punishment the people of Uganda deserve, for once God should have a second thought about it.