Ruto's Immortalisation in Uganda Brews Controversy

  • Uganda's plan to immortalise Deputy President William Ruto, through building the William Ruto Leadership Institute at Makerere University sparked controversy after the DP laid the foundation stone for his institute on Saturday, December 21.

    The Insitute will focus on the study of Africa as a continent, what makes up the continent, the integration, the culture, the resources, the challenges and collective responsibility that must be adopted for the development of Africa.

    However, a report by Daily Nation on Tuesday, December 31, highlighted doubts and critics that arose from the proposal. 

     DP Ruto during the laying of the foundation stone for the William Ruto Leadership Institute at Makerere University, Uganda on Saturday, December 21, 2019

    According to Daily Nation's opinion columnist, Professor Makau Mutua, Makerere University had lowered its standards by honouring Ruto, who to him does not meet the ethical rules and qualifications that universities worldwide use to name academic buildings, programmes, and institutions.

    "Makerere University went from being the oldest and most iconic institution of higher learning in East Africa to the butt of jokes," Makau Mutua argued.

    On Monday, December 30, the university hit back at Makau Mutua, in staunch defence of its standards. 

    "The opinion written in one of the East African dailies criticizing the establishment of the Ruto's Institute of Leadership Studies at Makerere is misguided and out of context.

    "The Institute is not an academic award as Makau Mutua seems to insinuate, but a rare initiative by an African political leader to support African indigenous scholarship," the university tweeted.

    It went on to cite that four years ago, they honoured former president  Mwai Kibaki ni a near similar manner. However, reports allege that the land allocated to the construction of Ruto's institute is the same that was allocated to Mwai Kibaki's Presidential Library in 2015. The cost of the library was approximately Ksh 5 trillion. 

    "William Ruto’s initiative should be commended by all patriotic African elites and not condemned out of apparent misconception. Makerere awaits the implementation of yet another initiative by another great Kenyan leader, Mwai Kibaki, which he launched four years ago," another tweet read.

    Further reports claim that Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni influenced the establishment of Ruto's Institute as Makerere University indicated that they were requested by the Office of the President of the Republic of Uganda.

    On Saturday, December 21, before commissioning the construction of his institute, Ruto met Museveni at Mubende State Lodge, where the latter pledged over Ksh 10 million towards its establishment.

    However, how the methods used to land upon Ruto as the choice for immortalisation was embroiled in more controversies as reports also claim that a few senior university staff are opposed to the idea.

    Professor Makau Mutua, who on Sunday, December 29 criticised Makerere University for honouring DP William Ruto