Butiama university received Sh400 million annually for 13 years without teaching

Dar es Salaam. The Mwalimu Nyerere University of Agriculture and Technology in Butiama District, Mara Region has been receiving millions of shillings of the government’s budget funds for over a decade, yet it has not enrolled any student since it was established.
Though it requires a budget of more than Sh1 billion per year, it barely receives a fraction of that amount, and it has never educated a single student.
According to information acquired at the university during a weekend visit by the Parliament’s Social Services and Community Development Committee, the institution requires more than Sh1 billion per year to operate properly.
However, it currently gets Sh400 million per year.
The university employs 80 people, including more than 60 academic staff members who also include more than 40 of them who are currently studying at different levels of education, including PhD.
Apart from that, the most intriguing aspect of the narrative is that the university has been without students for 13 years, despite the presence of the Chancellor and teachers.
Members of the Parliament’s Social Services and Community Development Committee were surprised and others were angered by the state of the higher learning institution.
“The Chancellor of the college and your staff, you have been tortured for a very long time by being placed in Butiama for all those years without students. This is a great torture,” said Ms Husna Sekiboko (CCM – Special Seats).
For her part, special seats lawmaker, Salome Makamba said the situation created a big loss, revealing that a professor was sent to the college to become the Vice Chancellor of the college and retired after eight years without a single lecture delivered.
“People are given a budget for expenses and salaries every month and yet the college has never provided services...” she said, noting she was so disappointed with the situation.
As a result, the deputy minister for Education, Science and Technology Omary Kipanga, acknowledged the existence of the situation, saying that among the factors that led to the college not starting services was the absence of qualified staff, among others.
“The first issue that slowed the provision of services was a lack of professional human resources; you couldn’t get started quickly if you didn’t have certified lecturers to teach at the degree level,” he said.
Furthermore, during an interview with The Citizen the ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Dr Francis Michael, clarified that the institution has been operating under a provisional licence.
“The institution was granted a provisional licence, which would prevent it from admitting students until more than 50 of its professors had advanced intellectually to the PhD level,” he explained.
However, he noted that many of the professors have already completed their studies and that the college may start admitting students in the next academic year.
According to the Tanzania Commission for Universities (TCU), for any institution to be accredited, the Commission must be satisfied that the institution concerned has adequate physical, human and financial resources, a viable academic programme and sound structure of governance.
TCU says that a provisional licence is just a preparatory stage for issuance of Certificate of Accreditation. “At this stage the institution is required to develop physical infrastructure, prepare administrative and academic policies, develop curriculum, establish governance structure and employ academic staff,” TCU notes in its website.
So, an institution holding a Provisional Licence is not allowed to admit students.