TUC Council and Senior Management holds Inaugural Meeting with the Turkana County Parliamentary Caucus

The Turkana University College (TUC) Council and Senior Management held an inaugural meeting with the Caucus of Turkana County Members of Parliament on 10th February, 2023.The MPs’ delegation comprised of the Chairman of the Caucus Hon. Daniel Epuyo Nanok, MP Turkana West Constituency, Hon. Protus Akujah-Loima Constituency, Hon. Ekwom Nabuin-Turkana North Constituency and Hon. Emathe Namuar-MP Turkana Central Constituency. TUC Council was represented by Mr. Oliver Erupe Lowoton-representing Council Chairman and Ms. Mercy Kareithi. The Principal, Prof. George Ndiema Chemining’wa, alongside Prof. George Muthaa-Deputy Principal Administration, Finance & Planning (DPAF& P) and Prof. Dr. Fredrick Nyongesa Kassilly-Deputy Principal Academics & Student Affairs (DPA& SA) represented TUC Management.

In his remarks, Mr. Lowoton, thanked the Honourable members for availing themselves and for supporting the establishment of TUC. He also expressed optimism that the MPs would support TUC in strategic issues such as pursuit of Charter and increase in capitation. On her part, Ms. Kareithi expressed gratitude to the MPs for finding time out of their busy schedules to attend the meeting and for their valuable input. She also underscored the need for more meetings between the MPs and the TUC Council and Management in order to achieve synergy in our collective efforts to advance the University.

The Principal welcomed and appreciated the Honorable Members of Parliament for deeming it fit to visit the University and hold discussions with its Council and Senior Management. He noted that as representatives of the people, the MPs are the key stakeholders of TUC. He also thanked the MPs for the continued support to TUC students through the NG-CDF allocations and called on them to increase the amount of bursaries allocated to students studying at TUC.

During the meeting, presentations were made by the Principal and the two Deputy Principals. Prof. George Muthaa appealed to the MPs for support in enhancement of government capitation to implement the projects earmarked in the TUC Strategic Plan 2021-2025. Prof. Dr.Fredrick Kassilly reiterated the need for support by the MPs to help the University realize its core mandate, noting that TUC has already developed and established the tools, protocols and organs to effectively run academic affairs.

During his presentation, Prof. George Chemining’wa noted that the Council and Management have put in place effective policies and established a culture of industrial harmony, team spirit and ethnic cohesion among staff and students. He further noted that the University has developed a Strategic Plan (2021-2025) and Master plan to guide its current and future developments. He also reported that TUC has attained significant milestones in training, research and outreach through partnerships with various institutions such as Turkana Basin Institute (TBI), KASNEB, KMA, KEFRI and the Turkana County Government. Despite the milestones achieved, the Principal stated that TUC is faced with a challenge of inadequate human resources and infrastructure due to insufficient capital development allocation from the government. He called for increased Government capitation to facilitate hiring of critical staff and construction of tuition blocks, hostels, laboratories and recreational facilities in preparation for the award of charter.

The Principal requested the MPs to support the University through the NG-CDF and other national government funds to undertake projects, sensitize and encourage the local entrepreneurs to put up hostels around the University through public-private-partnership (PPPs) arrangements. He also appealed for their support in putting up affordable houses through the National Housing Corporation (NHC), allocation of land in different parts of the County to expand access to University education by the greater Turkana community and encouraging students from the local community to apply HELB loans in order to reduce over-reliance on NG-CDF bursaries. Further, he appealed to the MPs to support locals interested in Teacher Education programmes as a means of addressing the shortage of teachers in the County, market TUC in various forums and support the Chancellor’s Endowment Fund kitty which has already been set up to support needy students.

The Honourable MPs thanked TUC Council and Management for the invitation to engage on issues of interest to their constituencies and the country at large. The MPs committed to support the University to access adequate national government resources necessary for recruitment of staff, infrastructural development and award of charter. They underscored the need for the Council and Management to scale up resource mobilization efforts in order to raise funds for capital development. They also expressed the need to explore opportunities which can help the University attract more students and in turn raise more internally generated funds. Further, they implored the Management to scale up Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) efforts and outreach activities and to consider local content in the recruitment of employees at all levels and procurement of goods and services. As the way forward, the TUC team and the MPs’ Caucus agreed to work closely towards growing TUC and addressing the challenges facing it.