KIU management under fire for ‘breaching’ regulations
A crisis pitting the administration of Kampala International University (KIU) at Gongo la Mboto on the outskirts of Dar es Salaam against students, parents and Tanzanian members of the teaching staff is simmering, while threatening to disrupt harmony at this private higher learning institution.
In more than a week long investigation, the ‘Sunday News’ has established that while parents complain about spiralling fees, which they are obliged to pay in rates pegged at the prevailing US dollar, some students have described the KIU Director of Finance, Dean of Students and IT department head as impolite and lacking in courtesy, saying the dignity of Tanzanian students was being held in disrepute.
However, in a lengthy explanation, the KIU Director of Marketing, Ms Nassara Nzwalla, denied the accusations and dared anyone to show proof that the university has been conducting its business contrary to the law of the land. “It is quite unfortunate that the allegations are based on the previous fee structure which has been reviewed and approved by Tanzania Commission for Universities (TCU).
Some parents are just not happy that we have strict rules that do not allow fee defaulters to take examinations,” she said, showing a document which indicates how much a local or foreign student pays per semester of five months. But even then, a parent named Kaundime Masanja produced a bank receipt, a copy of which is in ‘Sunday News’ possession, to prove that his son studying for a Bachelor’s Degree in Commerce, has been paying 1,470, 000/- per semester instead of 1,103,850/- as indicated in the KIU document and on its website.
“ The fee structure shown on KIU’s website is simply fake! It is contradictory. My receipt speaks volume.Is there no law prohibiting this dollar business in Tanzania?’’ she asked. A Tanzanian lecturer divulged to the ‘Sunday News’ that there was a discriminatory tendency to favour foreigners over local teaching staff, in terms of salaries and incentives.The lecturer (name withheld) for fear of reprisals,complained that KIU has failed to address eight serious concerns, including salary delays and lack of employment contracts.
“We want prompt salary payment made through our bank accounts and not arbitrarily as if we were only receiving some allowances,” he said, and expressed his dissatisfaction over local staff being paid in the local currency while to others it was the opposite.
The lecturer also said worker shave been longing for a trade union, adding that they have nowhere to air their views concerning their welfare.Reacting, Ms Nzwalla said such complaints could be coming from lecturers whose employment was terminated due to incompetence.
She also defended the conduct of ICT head, Dean of Students and the Director of Finance, as being professionals, saying none of them was rude to students except perhaps in isolated cases where students fail to express themselves in English which is the medium of instruction and communication.
“ Students feel ill at ease when we insist they should seek assistance or clarification from the respective officials in English,” she remarked,adding that the University has also advised members of staff to be patient with the students as majority of them have not been using the language prior to admission.
On allegations that the university’s 80 percent staff were Ugandans, while Kenya and Tanzania shares equally the remaining 20 per cent, a clear violation of law governing foreign investors in Tanzania, Ms Nzwalla also denied the accusation and added that over half of the staff were locals.
“It depends on what really the complainant is trying to prove because the Marketing Department for example has only one foreigner whereas seven of the employees are all Tanzanians,’’ she noted..On permanent registration as full fledged university, she said KIU is still retaining its provisional registration while TCU is carrying out continuous assessment.
She rubbished reports that KIU had no facilities, saying that it was using the student consolidation fees properly.“There are hostels, a dispensary, library and IT laboratory. Some science facilities are under construction,” she said.When sought for comment, TCU spokesperson Mr Edward Mkako insisted that the government’s policy for universities and other businesses operating in the country is clear; all fees and charges must be paid in Tanzanian shilling.
He said the TCU’s role is to regulate and advise universities to adhere to rules and regulations stipulated under the universities charter and registrations.“ It is not our duty to police the universities. We set rules and regulations, and often consult with them,” he said, adding that TCU’s intervention should come only when things get out of hand.
Meanwhile, the investigation conducted by the ‘Sunday News’ has discovered that in a recent meeting between the Minister for Education and Vocational Training, Dr Shukuru Kawambwa, TCU, KIU and students, payment of fees in US Dollar was among the items on the agenda. Other issues of concern were Loans board failure to credit KIU students, provisional registration, hostels, and health services.
Others were, cafeteria, transcripts and consolidation fund. KIU is a chartered private university in Uganda and has established her presence in Kenya and Tanzania.The college began as an Open and Distance Learning Centre but now offers certificates, diplomas and degrees in the fields of management, education, social sciences, pure sciences and law.
Source Tanzania Daily News
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