Uganda Police summons Makerere University fraud whistleblower

Prof Bruce Kabaasawith VC Prof Nawangwe
Prof Barnabas Nawangwe (L) and Bruce Balaba Kabaasa

Police at Makerere has summoned Prof Elias Nuwagaba, the chief custodian of the College of Health Sciences for releasing information considered to be compromising the university’s image.

Sources at Makerere University police say Nuwagaba is wanted to record a statement, following a missive that he shared on the staff webmail accusing top university managers of defrauding the institution.

Nuwagaba formerly acted as a personal secretary to Prof Barnabas Nawangwe while he was still the deputy vice chancellor in charge of finance and administration. He was later dropped and appointed chief custodian.

In the letter, Nuwagaba accuses the university administrators of fabricating cases against him after he exposed some of the irregularities involving university officials.

Nuwagaba accused Bruce Balaba Kabaasa, the chairperson of the Appointments Board for using the Main Hall for more than five years without paying, yet the facility is supposed to be hired at a rate of Shs 2 million per day.

“Colleagues, it is on record [that] there is a project in the names of university forum on government located at plot 52, Edge road, this project is owned by our own chairperson Appointments Board Mr Kabaasa Bruce, this project hosts like 3 or 2 functions in a month, to my disappointment, funders of this project facilitate Mr Kabaasa Bruce who pockets the money and he only uses the Main Hall free of charge. Colleagues how much is the university losing in a year?” Nuwagaba asked in the missive to staff.

“I raised this issue to the DVC (F&A) the then Prof Barnabas Nawangwe, he turned a deaf ear because he was already eyeing a higher office, surprisingly when I kept pushing, I was instead transferred and demoted because I had identified all kinds of anomalies in DVC’s office which some of these issues have even made our dear university bursar to resign,” he added.

Niwagaba says he was transferred after complaining and the vice chancellor confided to him that his transfer was recommended by Kabasa, who had been using the facility at a free cost.

“When I approached him (Kabasa) he told me I should stop loitering in his compound and he told me that I’m not an auditor to follow up on university money issues,” Nuwagaba said.