The Makerere University Retirement Benefits Scheme (MURBS) on 11th October 2019 at a presentation of its performance for the Financial Year 2018/2019 declared an interest of 10.6% payable on all members' opening balances as at 1st July 2018. MURBS also introduced two new products for Members; the Annuity Arrangement courtesy of the Insurance Company of East Africa (ICEA) and the Property Project, dubbed Ivory Estate Sonde.
Welcoming participants to the presentation, the Principal Pension Officer MURBS, Ms. Susan Khaitsa introduced Members of the Board of Trustees (BoT) who included; the Chairperson, Mr. Wilber Grace Naigambi, Ms. Dorothy Nannozi Kabanda, Mr. John Peter Okello and Mr. William Ndoleriire. Also introduced were co-opted Board Members; CPA David Ssenoga-Chair Audit Committee and Mr. Paul Kuteesa-Member, Finance and Administration Committee.
Ms. Khaitsa also recognised the; CEO, Uganda Retirement Benefits Regulatory Authority (URBRA)-Mr. Martin Nsubuga, Representative of the CEO, Insurance Regulatory Authority (IRA)-Mr. Chris Kananura and CEO, ICEA (Insurance Company of East Africa) Life Assurance Company-Mr. Emmanuel Mwaka. The service providers; Administrator-Octagon Uganda Limited, Custodian-Stanbic Bank Uganda Limited as well as Fund Managers-GenAfrica Asset Managers Limited and Sanlam Investments SA were equally well represented.
Addressing participants, the Chief Guest Rt. Hon. Daniel Fred Kidega, Vice Chairperson Makerere University Council who represented the Chairperson, Mrs. Lorna Magara, thanked MURBS for inviting Council to witness the 9th Presentation of its performance.
“On 1st April 2010, the Makerere University Council established MURBS. This in itself was a bold decision before the promulgation of the Uganda Retirement Benefits Regulatory Authority” noted Rt. Hon. Kidega.
The Chief Guest then informed participants that the Scheme Sponsor Makerere University Council and Government had as at 30th June 2019 paid over UGX 30billion of unremitted contributions to MURBS. He also reassured the audience of Council’s commitment to ensure that MURBS becomes the best scheme on the Ugandan market.
In his remarks, the Vice Chancellor Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe thanked the Chief Guest for sparing time to attend the presentation, noting that “MURBS matters are of great importance to Makerere University.”
He therefore congratulated MURBS upon coming up with the Annuity Arrangement and Property Project as innovations for Members. “I congratulate MURBS on these wonderful innovations because this shows that at long last this institution is breaking out of inertia in line with my manifesto theme; Unlocking the Potential of Makerere University.”
Prof. Nawangwe added that Makerere University as the foremost trainer of Managers, will enable our nation to achieve middle income status through research and innovations. He however noted that this would be impossible unless the human resource responsible for this training remains focused on their work with reassurance that their salaries will be paid on time and benefits secured upon retirement.
“As we strive to ensure that Makerere University makes her contribution to the country, we want to ensure that the people who are making this possible are relaxed. MURBS has a major responsibility in ensuring that our staff benefits are well taken care of and wisely invested” added the Vice Chancellor.
The former Chairman, Makerere University Academic Staff Association (MUASA) and Manager Communication and International Relations, Dr. Muhammad Kiggundu Musoke commended the Vice Chancellor for his support to MURBS over the years. “As Deputy Vice Chancellor (Finance and Administration), Prof. Nawangwe supported the proper running of MURBS and was readily available to settle any matters related to staff benefits.”
Dr. Kiggundu Musoke also paid tribute to the Chairperson, BoT, MURBS Mr. Wilber Grace Naigambi for being an exemplary and dependable representative of MUASA. He therefore appealed to the MUASA fraternity to always choose trustworthy and reputable representatives who will take the Scheme to greater heights.
Whereas MURBS declared an interest of 17% on 30th June 2018, this year’s reduced 10.6% declaration was attributed to a number of factors in the operating environment. Delivering the presentation on the Scheme’s performance, Mr. Naigambi shared that during the financial year 2018/2019, regional equity markets, which hold over 20% of the MURBS asset class declined greatly. This was attributed to weakening foreign investor appetite in light of global economic and trade uncertainties.
Nevertheless, MURBS collected UGX26billion in member contributions, compared to UGX23billion the previous financial year. The Scheme’s Total Net Assets also grew by 30% from UGX142billion in the 2017/2018 financial year to UGX178billion in 2018/2019.
Mr. Naigambi further announced that MURBS had in partnership with ICEA Life Assurance come up with the MURBS Annuity Arrangement and introduced two Annuitants; Mr. Michael Nganda from the Department of Mathematics and Assoc. Prof. Andrew Muwanga from the Department of Geology and Petroleum Studies. These shared their testimonies of their experience so far and benefits such as Health Insurance for the Annuitant and a spouse and Funeral cover that come with the arrangment.
Mr. John Peter Okello on behalf of the BoT then presented MURBS’ first real estate development project; Ivory Estate Sonde. The project consists of 358 serviced plots starting at 50x100feet, spread out over a 50acre estate. Priority will be given to MURBS Members, who will be able to purchase each plot at UGX55million. MURBS has partnered its Custodian Stanbic bank to ease purchase of the plots by MURBS Members.
According to Mr. Jackson Emanzi, Stanbic Uganda’s Head of Home Loans, MURBS members will pay an initial 10% of the cost (UGX5.5million) and can access a loan facility within 48 hours to pay the balance over five years in UGX1.2million monthly installments. A dedicated desk has been set up at the Stanbic Bank Makerere Branch to ease access to the loan facility for plots at Ivory Estate Sonde.
Speaking on behalf of URBRA, the CEO Mr. Martin Nsubuga commended MURBS for being a very organized scheme with highly focused Trustees. “Our biggest challenge at the beginning of setting up the Authority was dealing with Trustees who either didn’t know their obligations or over delegated responsibility to service providers.”
Mr. Nsubuga on the other hand commended MURBS Trustees for steering the scheme to continued growth and congratulated Makerere University upon safeguarding the retirement benefits of their employees. He reassured the audience that URBRA had in place a solid legal framework to ensure that the MURBS investment is secure.
On behalf of IRA, Mr. Chris Kananura said that the Authority is fully committed to developing the Insurance sector in Uganda and commended MURBS for partnering with ICEA to add value to retirement benefits.
“Research has shown that 96% of retirees exhaust their benefits within three years of retirement. Annuity arrangements are therefore an excellent way to prepare you for a comfortable retirement and the IRA has introduced risk-based supervision to ensure that companies fulfill the promises spelled out in their product portfolios” added Mr. Kananura.
The CEO, ICEA Life and gallant alumnus of Makerere University, Mr. Emmanuel Mwaka noted that with more than 4,500 Annuitants, his company is the largest provider of annuity arrangements in the region. He therefore welcomed more MURBS members to take advantage of the services provided so as to mitigate the risks associated with lump sum payments upon retirement.
This position was reiterated by Mr. David Opio Okello, Member, ICEA Life Board of Directors who commended MURBS BoT for the exceptional leadership and tremendous job in growing the Scheme since its inception to the current fund value.
“This partnership with ICEA Life will enable MURBS to meet its objective to deliver retirement security for members both today and tomorrow. I thank the Insurance Regulatory Authority for introducing annuities as an option for members to receive their retirement benefits” added Mr. Opio Okello.
Article by Public Relations Office
Ambassador of Sweden to Uganda calls for full involvement of men and boys in achieving Gender Equality
The Ambassador of Sweden to Uganda Her Excellence Maria Håkansson has emphasized the need to fully engage men and boys in all the initiatives geared towards achieving Gender Equality in Uganda and other parts of the world. She said this on 28th November 2023 at a press conference organized by the Embassy of Sweden in close collaboration with Makerere University Gender Mainstreaming Directorate, UN Women and United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) to unveil the National Orange Pledge campaign and officially launch the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence.
The press conference was headlined by a Ugandan rapper and record producer Daniel Lubwama Kigozi, popularly known by his stage name Navio and his fellow from Sweden Jason Michael Bosak Diakité popularly known as Timbuktu. Over 200 students both male and female from Makerere University and other institutions of higher learning attended the press conference at Makerere University Rugby Grounds.
According to Her Excellence Maria Håkansson, Gender Equality cannot be achieved without involving men and boys to take their responsibilities and be the drivers of change. “For real change to happen, we need to change attitudes and norms that might cause Gender Based Violence, one of the social ills in Uganda and an extreme of gender inequality that occurs at all levels of society,” she said.
Referring to the national survey conducted in 2020, the Ambassador was concerned about the escalating burden of gender based violence in Uganda when she said, “the Survey highlighted that 95% of women and girls experience physical or sexual violence since the age of 15.”
She therefore emphasized the Global 16 Days of Activism as key international movement to increase awareness and advocate for an end to Gender Based Violence. The Ambassador also mentioned that preventing and responding to Gender Based Violence is a cornerstone for Sweden’s commitment to promote democracy, human rights and gender equality and this is done as an investment in a society that upholds the principles of equality, dignity and justice.
She acknowledged the full participation of university students in all campaigns and activities geared towards achieving gender equality as well as ending Gender Based Violence when she said, “You are the leaders of tomorrow and you have an opportunity to build a future where everyone can thrive. So please use today to take an active stand against Gender Based Violence.”
Every year Uganda joins the rest of the world to enhance the global campaigns on 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence and also add a voice to the call for an end to violence against women and girls. These campaigns run from 25th November (the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women) until 10th December of the Human Rights Day.
The United Nations Secretary-General’s UNiTE by 2030 initiative calls for global action to increase awareness, galvanize advocacy efforts and share knowledge and innovations to help end all types of violence against women and girls. This year 2023, the UNiTE campaign theme is; Invest to Prevent Violence against Women & Girls.
Over the years, Makerere University through its Gender Mainstreaming Directorate and School of Women and Gender in partnership with UN Women and many other partners have been at the fore front to support the campaign on 16 Days of Activism against Gender Based Violence in Uganda. This has been done through debates, theatre forums, student dialogues, thematic artistic presentations, media exposures, drama and music skits presentation, and student peer led discussions and quarterly competitions.
This year 2023, the University in partnership with the Embassy of Sweden, UN Women and United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) unveiled the Orange Pledge. According to Eric Tumwesigye the Senior Gender Specialist at Makerere University Gender Mainstreaming Directorate, this campaign calls upon government, policymakers, activists, civil societies, academicians, students and all members of community from all parts of the country to make their heartfelt pledges towards ending Gender Based Violence in Uganda and the rest of the world.
The UN Women Country Representative Paulina Chiwangu recognized the investment Makerere University, the Embassy of Sweden and UNFPA have made to end violence against women and girls. “Thanks to our collective efforts, the silence that used to shroud violence against women has now been broken” said.
In the same spirit, she acknowledged the progress Makerere University has made in establishing and implementation of the University’s Policy and Regulations against Sexual Harassment to protect students and staff from potential abuses of power and conflict of interest. She also applauded the increased support and training for students and the strengthened mechanisms for investigations that allow students and staff to anonymously report sexual misconduct.
“We are however, aware that despite this, sexual harassment is still happening in the university and that not many students report to the authorities when they experience it. It is therefore, our humble appeal to the university leadership to continue monitoring the implementation of the Policy and Regulations Against Sexual Harassment, take all allegations of sexual harassment and violence seriously, ensure that all personnel have information on available support services and take action to ensure that perpetrators are held accountable.”
Reaffirming the University’s position in fighting GBV and particularly sexual harassment, the Vice Chancellor of Makerere University Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe was highlighted the various measures Makerere University has put in place to prevent and respond to Gender Based Violence. To him, the Policy and Regulations against Sexual Harassment; the appointment and capacity building for the Vice Chancellor’s Roster of 100 eminent people from the various colleges and administrative units; recruitment and training of the Gender Mainstreaming Programme Student Peer Trainers and setting up Sexual Harassment Investigation Committees are bigger milestones to celebrate.
He appreciated the move by the Gender Mainstreaming Directorate and all the partners to embrace entertainment and artistry as a critical advocacy and awareness tool to reach several communities especially the youth.
“We firmly believe in the transformative power of music and the arts in promoting social change. Music and art does serve as a powerful medium to advocate for the world free from violence especially violence against women,” said to Mr. Dainel Alemu, the UNFPA Deputy Country Representative.
“It is heartening to see artists like Navio taking a stand and using their influence to challenge harmful norms. As we revel in the beats and melodies, let us not forget he underlying message that everyone , regardless of gender, has a role to play in fostering a world where everyone is free from shackles of gender based violence,” he added.
Speaking at the Press Conference at Makerere University Rugby Grounds, Navio said that for the 20 years he has been an activist of Gender Based Violence, he has faced the reality of many young girls and women in Uganda being victims of sex and physical abuse. He therefore sent a huge condemnation to men especially artists that who are perpetrators of Gender Based Violence and called for serious government action and clear policies and laws against such injustices.
Navio applauded the women and men who have stood tall over the years to fight against Gender Based Violence in Uganda when he said, “ As we launch the 16 days activism in Uganda and through these pledges we are making, let us be accountable for our actions. For long in our cultures, men have considered force and violence as power and protection. They have been tough to their children hence instilling fear to the extent that the children cannot freely interact with them on serious matters such as abuse and torture.”
He applauded all families that have adopted the new parenting model of free conversations and interaction hence encouraging children to freely open up whenever they have challenges. Navio also acknowledged the role of his mother Mrs Maggie Kigozi as a human rights activist and a champion in fighting against Gender Based Violence in Uganda.
Jason Michael Bosak Diakité popularly known as Timbuktu from Sweden appreciated the wider platform provided by the music industry globally for artists to act as role models and champion of change. The rapper highlighted the need to respect women for their roles and support towards community development.
“I am a son and it is extremely important for me to respect my mother and all women. Also being a father to a beautiful daughter, I am always eager and looking forward to seeing the best future for her. I want daught to grow up in the world where she is able to feel safe and be allowed to freely associate without being discriminated or threatened because of her gender,” he said.
Scholars & Alumni of Mastercard Foundation light up Achukudu Community, Napak District
By Bernard Buteera
On Saturday 2nd December 2023, all roads led to Achukudu Community Primary School in Napak District, Karamoja sub-region, as the Scholars and Alumni of Mastercard Foundation at Makerere University commemorated their Scholars’ Annual Day of Community Service (Giveback). The 2023 Scholars Annual Day of Community Service was held at Achukudu Community Primary School, Napak District in the Karamoja sub-region. Established in 2013, Achukudu Community School serves two ethnic communities—The Iteso and Karamojong.
With a total population of 1,097 pupils only three government-paid teachers, and nine community-paid teachers, the School faces a plethora of challenges. Key among the challenges is the lack of Classrooms, decent Ventilated Pit Latrines, and Desks. Therefore when the Scholars identified the School as one that deserved to be given a gift of a classroom block, it was a befitting choice!
The Scholars with support from the alumni, the Program Team, Members of the Steering Committee, and partners of the Scholars Program at Makerere University intervened by constructing a two-classroom block, which was supervised by one of the alumni who is an Engineer. Alongside the classroom block, the Scholars also provided 40 desks, helping the school meet UNEB Center eligibility criteria.
While presiding over the event, the area member of Parliament, Hon. John Bosco Ngoya, thanked the Scholars and alumni community at Makerere University for supporting the young pupils of Achukudu Primary School and the entire community by gifting them with a two-classroom block.
“Thank you Scholars and alumni of Mastercard Foundation at Makerere University for the Christmas gift of a classroom block to the young people and the entire community of Achukudu. This classroom block will go a long way in improving the learning environment of the young children of Achukudu primary school.” Hon. Ngoya pointed out.
Hon. Ngoya called upon other people to emulate the Scholars and alumni of the Mastercard Foundation in embracing the spirit of giving back to the vulnerable people in the community. On his part, he donated One Million Five hundred shillings (1,500,000/=) to help the School purchase more desks, and he had earlier contributed One million shillings (1,000,000/=) towards the construction of the classroom block.
The District Education Officer (DEO) for Napak District, Ms. Joyce Nakoya, praised the Scholars Community for embracing and practicing the spirit of giving back to other people at an early age.
“Thank you Scholars and alumni of the Mastercard Foundation at Makerere for embracing the spirit of giving back to other people at such an early age. If all people gave back to the less privileged in our communities, we would have a better world for everyone.” Ms. Nakoya pointed out.
Ms. Nakoya further pointed out every child deserves to study in a decent environment, therefore it was a befitting cause for the Scholars to construct a classroom block for the young pupils of Achukudu community primary school, who were studying in open grass thatched classrooms.
The Program Manager of the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program at Makerere University, Ms. Jolly Okumu who led the team of Scholars, alumni, and staff to Karamoja thanked the community of Achukudu for supporting the Scholars to deliver the class block by contributing to the construction sand.
“We come here today to join with you as a community driven by a shared commitment to education, empowerment, and ethos of giving back. Today is a historic occasion as we celebrate the completion and commissioning of the classroom block, which is a remarkable testament to the transformative power of education and our unwavering spirit of community service.” Ms. Jolly remarked.
The President of the Scholars Association, Mr. Godfrey Okello, thanked all the Scholars and alumni, and all stakeholders who contributed to the construction of the classroom block, which was a dream that became a reality.
“I would like to thank my colleagues and people of goodwill who supported us to realize our dream of constructing this classroom for our young brothers and sisters of Achukudu Primary School. Together we can make a difference in the lives of our fellow young people in Uganda and Africa as a whole.” Mr. Okello remarked.
The Headteacher of the School, Mr. Eryebu Raymond, who was visibly very excited was full of praises for Scholars and alumni of the Mastercard Foundation, for what he termed as an iconic classroom block they had gifted to his School.
“This day is very special to us, we will not see this day again. We are delighted to receive the Scholars and alumni of Mastercard Foundation from Makerere University, thank you for considering supporting our School” Mr. Eryebu excitedly remarked.
The Headteacher revealed that one of the major challenges the school was facing was an acute shortage of classrooms for his 1,097 pupils. He was therefore grateful to Mastercard Foundation Scholars for choosing to construct a two-class block for the School.
“This donation of a classroom block and Desks is a testament to your commitment to education and empowering the lives of the vulnerable people in the community. This classroom block and desks will go a long way in improving the quality of teaching and learning at our school.” Mr. Eryebu further remarked.
The 2023 Scholars Annual Day of Community Service (Giveback) was punctuated with a lot of joy, pomp, and fanfare, as the pupils and the entire community of Achukudu danced and ululated at the commissioning of the classroom block. The construction of the classroom block and purchase of desks for Achukudu Community Primary School was made possible by generous contributions by the Scholars, alumni, the Program Team, and members of the Steering Committee.
Among the Partners who made financial contributions towards the class block construction included; DFCU Bank, Post Bank, URA, Katumba Estates, Footsteps Furniture Ltd, and Sion Travels Ltd.
The Scholars and Alumni Day of Community Service (Give back) is an annual event, where Scholars and alumni of the Mastercard Foundation go out into the community to give back by providing solutions to challenges that a particular community is facing. Over the years Scholars have given back to the communities in numerous ways that range from offering professional services and erecting major projects like classroom blocks.
Bernard Buteera is the Communications and Public Relations Officer of the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program at Makerere University.
Innovations using low cost locally available materials for point of use water treatment system unveiled
The College of Engineering, Design, Art and Technology (CEDAT) conducted a Research Dissemination of two studies aimed at the Development of Materials for point of use water treatment systems.
The investigations were conducted by a team of researchers comprised of P. W. Olupot, H. M. Kalibbala, E. Menya, G.M. Wangi, J. Jjagwe, J. Wakatuntu, M. Turyasingura, R. Walozi, C. Kanyesigye and R. N. Kulabako.
The dissemination event held on Wednesday 29th November 2023 follows the successful completion of two MakRIF supported Research projects namely; Development of rice husk based granular activated carbon for point-of-use water treatment systems and Development of zeolite-based nanocomposite filters for drinking water treatment.
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