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Ministry of Education investigates alleged corruption at Gulu College of Health Sciences

Members of Parliament from Acholi Parliamentary Group recently at Gulu College of Health Sciences. (Photo by Simon Wokorach)

GULU – The Ministry of Education, Science, Sports and Technology has commenced investigations on alleged bribery, corruption and mismanagement of funds at Gulu College of Health Sciences.

The investigations come following a week long demonstration by the students against the new fee policy.

The Commissioner Health Education and Training in the Ministry of Education disclosed in an interview that the investigations into the allegations had kicked off.

However, she did not indicate the timeframe of the investigations but noted that the Ministry is yet to establish the facts about the matter that has disorganized the school since May this year.

“We are looking to address this problem once and for all, but what we need is to find out what has gone wrong before the school can be fully reopened,” Dr. Safinah explained.

In the new fee structures, the privately sponsored students are required to pay Shs 2.5 million, an increment of Shs 200,000 from the previous academic years.

Meanwhile, the government sponsored students are subjected to pay Shs1.6 million as opposed to Shs1.4 million in the last academic years.

The school has a population of 947 medical students; however, each student is subjected to pay Shs 200,000 for sanitizers which amount to Shs 189.4 million per semester.

The management has also levied a cost of Shs 50,000 on each student for DSTV subscription and up to Shs 47.3 million is collected from the students.

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Whereas the School only has two DSTV outlets, one installed in the main Campus and another in Laroo Campus whose subscription and maintenance costs the college less than Shs 5 million per semester.

The school has also continuously been collecting Shs100,000 from each student for an annual operational cost of the bus.

The school equally collects Shs 40,000 from each student and it amounts to Shs 37.88 million to pay for 6 security guards where each of them according to the pay record gets Shs180,000 as monthly salary.

While the Ministry is concerned about the accountability of the funds collected from the students, the new fees structure is also subjected to query.

In the new policy, according to the circular, the government sponsored students are required to pay Shs1.47 million which is an increment of Shs 200,000 shillings from the previous academic years.

The new fees for privately sponsored students rose from Shs 2.3 million to Shs 2.5 million, the variation that is far wider than from other medical institution and colleges.

While the new fee policy has paralysed Gulu College of Health Sciences, at Mbale College of Clinical Officers, the government sponsored students pay Shs 883,400 while private students pay Shs1.6 million.

At Fort Portal College of Health Sciences, the government sponsored students are required to pay between Shs 800, 000 to Shs 868,400 while private students pay between Shs1.8 million to Shs1.1 million for both Diploma and Certificate Courses.

However, while the school remained closed, the Acholi Parliamentary Group visited the Institution for a fact-finding mission on the numerous alleged corruption scandals at the college.

The preliminary investigations by the team have established a report on bribery and mismanagement of the funds collected from the students and the security organs are alleged to have been involved in the scandals.

The Member of Parliament for Kilak South, Gilbert Olanya, disclosed in a recent meeting that the Shs1.2 million was wired to the Security Agency to facilitate them to help put down the demonstration, the support he says was taken as bribe that the management needs to account for.

“We have enough evidence of mismanagement of the funds collected which we shall table to Parliament for resolution,” Olanya further disclosed.

John Amos Okot, the area Member of Parliament for Agago North Constituency revealed that the committee will institute investigations on the allegations.

Denis Odwong Odongpiny, the Resident City Commissioner (RCC), Gulu City has declined receiving any financial support from the college as a bribe.

“I have seen more money than what you are talking about and I don’t have any knowledge that any of the security personnel have received any money from the college for whatever reason,” Odongpiny told journalists at Northern Uganda Media Club.

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