Guild budget: Is it a confidential affair and who is the end beneficiary?

Makerere University's Guild President, Shamim Nambasa
Written by: 
Muzafaluh Kabuulwa

The Makerere Guild constitution stipulates that there shall be a guild cabinet with ministers - chosen from within the house and answerable to the Guild Representative Council. Upon taking up office, ministers are obliged to make a budget so as to fund operations in their respective ministries.

Ministers usually formulate a workplan of whatever they want to accomplish from their manifesto and the budget does fund the projects. The workplan is then presented to the finance minister and the house at large for approval.

However, it is astonishing to acknowledge that there is a certain number of students who do not even know that guild Ministers are availed with funds to execute duties that benefit students at large. Some students informed about the existence of the annual guild budget have accused the ministers for using the money for their personal benefits.

Rumours have always made rounds of how guild ministers have established businesses out of the funds from their budgets. However, this cannot be substantiated.  

In an exclusive interview, the Finance Minister of the 87th Guild, Joseph Mukisa, asserts that ministers do the activities assigned to their ministries like guild trips, health days, symposia, etc ,using the guild funds.

Where as Chapter 10 of the Guild constitution approves the executive from the guild council and the University official to access the approved budget, it is not logical enough identifying what is classified to be hidden in the budget as it would be available for all the students.

“It is not a CMI or ISO asset to be classified, as a responsible student, you can always engage your GRCs,” Joseph says.

Despite its confidentiality, some students continue to demand and seek to know whatever is confined in the guild budget. Maseruka Robert, a resident at Nkrumah hall says the budget and expenditure should be publicized to confirm if the ministers actually received this money and used it as intended.

“I don’t know anything about the budget,” a one Augustus revealed making it clear that quite a number of students don’t know a thing about the guild budget.

The 87th Minister for Justice and Constitutional Affairs, Edwin Price Bbosa says the Constitution is a public document, although for the money, it is upon students to find out what each minister got.

“It’s upon journalists to look for the information. I don’t see it necessary for a minister to come out publicly to reveal how much they got,” Bbosa says.

Some legislators in the 87th house are as well curious to know what happens with the money allocated to the different ministries.

“We are waiting for the Speaker to form a committee then ask for accountability from these ministers,” Mutesi Hadijja, the GRC of the School of Languages Literature and Communications explains.

As students wait to see which activities continue to be organized by the Ministers, they are out of time as their time in office comes towards an end.