It is common practice for different unasnm executive committees to handover an unhealthy financial report to their succesors. This time will be no different. The current unasnm executive committee hands over office in the last week of march, with it will be a significant debt that it partly inherited. Part of it has also grown under their tenure of office. Much of the debt is unremitted unasnm subscription fees.
At the tail-end of Mr Kanyankole Frank’s tenure (Mr Frank was unasnm president 2017 to 2018), it was just over five million shillings excluding the money owed to a car bond where the association had acquired a Toyota premio to run unasnm activities, only paying part of it’s price. It’s almost certain the amount of money yet-to-be remitted to the unasnm by nursing schools has increased in leaps and bounds. The unasnm doesn’t make it’s finances public despite a requirememt that a financial report be presented before members at annual general meetings (agm) of the association.
Mr Opolot Rashid, the current unasnm president, attributes the current status quo to a large number of nursing schools in northern Uganda that have proven most reluctant when it comes to remitting the unasnm subscription fees. These subscription fees are included in a student’s tuition fees and are only deducted once — upon admission at any nursing or midwifery school as a student nurse or midwife.
The unasnm president, a Kampala-International-University-western-campus student, says the thirty year old student’s association is owed by forty nursing and midwifery schools that are yet to remit the unasnm subscription fees they’ve collected from students.
In second place after northern region, is eastern region he adds. Western and central are the best in remitting collected unasnm subscription fees.
School directors the problem
When asked about what the cause of delay in remitting these fees is, the unasnm president lays it squarely on the nursing school administrators whose major reason is “students haven’t cleared tuition” and thus the delay or refusal to send the money to the unasnm, depending on how one chooses to look at it.
It should be noted that even after closure of semester, schools insist on withholding the unasnm subscription fees.
Mr Rashid cites a case involving Mr Kisitu, a director at Mityana Institute of nursing and midwifery who collected money for unasnm t-shirts and never supplied the said t-shirts to students. It took summoning from the commissioner BTVET before he could admit to his actions. Five million shillings was demanded of him in relation to his activities to which he has only paid a sum of three million to the unasnm as of this story.
In addition, Kampala University, according the Mr Rashid was collecting the unasnm subscription fees per semester in blatant violation of the unasnm constitution that requires student pay such fees once upon admission. The university wasn’t submitting the subscription fees collected as per semester. The unasnm has taken on the services of a legal adviser to help it in execution of it’s day-to-day duties.
It’s quite clear that the financial situation at the unasnm predates the current executive and will certainly out-last the next one. With dynamics at nursing school level frustrating fees collection, the problem of unremitted subscription fees isn’t about to go away, atleast not just yet.