Friday, 6 March 2009

Kagimu Calls for Privatisation of Makerere

Hajji Habib Kagimu has a colourful history as a link man between Libya and Uganda, and has become incredibly wealthy in the process. Today he was invited to speak to the Makerere University Private Sector Forum in the prestigious Main Hall and was to be introduced by Vice-Chancellor Lubobi. After the audience had waited for nearly an hour his son arrived to deliver the speech on his father's behalf, Kagimu having apparently been called to an urgent meeting with the Big Man at State House.

It was, however, worth the wait. Kagimu effectively called for the complete privatisation of the university, with lecturers renamed 'service providers', students 'primary customers' and sweeping market reforms to be rolled out across campus. He told the crowd that supply and demand should dictate what courses they take, as when they graduate they will become mere 'products' that could prove useless. Given the incendiary content of the speech it was perhaps lucky for the VC, who is facing numerous challengers as his term draws to an end, that he didn't have to respond to Kagimu directly. I wonder if any of the eight Guild President candidates will have something to say on the issue?

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