PAC Faults MUK Over Failure To Insure Assets.
MAKERERE SAYS BUILDINGS HAVE BEEN DENIED INSURANCE COVER.
Makerere University Administration has informed the Parliamentary Accounts Committee that Insurance companies turned down contracts to insure university buildings because most of them are in a dilapidated state.
This was as PAC grilled university officials for causing the government a loss of Shs16bn in the fire that gutted the un-insured university main building and destroyed property worth billions.
The auditor general’s report for the financial year 2020/2021 faulted the management of Makerere University for failure to insure the University’s main administrative block thus causing the government a huge loss of Shs16.4bn in the fire that gutted the senate building and destroyed property. Today the Public Accounts Committee of parliament interrogated officials of Makerere University on why they have not considered insuring university buildings and other assets as a top priority.
In their Response, Makerere says most buildings are in a dilapidated state that is not insurable. University Secretary Yusuf Kirunda explained that all insurance companies turned down insurance contracts for the Makerere University building on grounds that they are too old to be insured.
However, committee members were not satisfied with the defense and gave Makerere University administration only one week to adduce evidence that Insurance companies turned down requests for an insurance policy on University assets. MPs also want the University to explain interventions that have been taken by the university to secure its assets from further fire outbreaks.
Led by the acting vice chancellor Henry Arinaitwe, Makerere officials were also grilled on why they have failed to collect rental arrears from defaulting University tenants which has accrued up to Shs530m by June 2021. The auditor general’s report warned the outstanding rental arrears could result in bad debts.
But the University Secretary explained that many of their tenants accumulated these rental arrears during the covid-19 lockdown and many are not ready to pay but instead they are seeking waivers. Kiranda added that they have been able to recover over Shs300m
The public accounts committee has been concerned with a huge staffing gap at Makerere University, standing at 915 vacant positions which translates to 44.9%of the approved staff establishment. The university blames it on a shortage of funds to recruit more staff.