On 16th/11/2014, only fourteen days as the Vice Chancellor of Mbarara University of Science and Technology (MUST), Professor Celestino Obua honored the Institute of Tropical Forest Conservation (ITFC) with a pleasant visit. Accompanied by his beloved wife Maureen, the VC expressed gratitude to ITFC staff for their great hard work, hospitality, and above all, their significant role in wildlife research and conservation in Bwindi and beyond. The VC was also accompanied by other MUST staff who included; the acting academic registrar –Mr. Felix Opio, the Dean of the faculty of science-Dr. Simon Anguma, the university engineer-Mr. Patrick Mujunansi, Ms. Sharon Kashemeire (VC’s personal secretary) and Ms. Angela Nakato (AR’s office). It all started with a superb dinner and coffee at the chilly hill of the director’s residence with lots of excitement from ITFC staff.
On day two of the VC’s visit, the director of ITFC gave an accomplished synopsis of the work the institute has done over years, and the plans ahead. The director’s talk relished interludes filled with guidance from the VC on how these could be expounded onto greater heights. He avowed to staff that he loves nature and would strongly support conservation efforts.
With his intellect sense of humor and wisdom, the VC was impressed by the immense work done by ITFC staff, and commended them for more practical research, uptake and increased peer-reviewed publications. The VC assured ITFC of continued MUST support in making strides in research and publication. Using the story of the goose that lay a golden egg, the VC acknowledged the substance of ITFC to MUST and reemphasized that the institute cannot be left out without support. In his final remarks, the VC argued staff to remain focused and aim at result based management in order to shine out of the crowd.
With unending jovial exchanges and after touring ITFC facilities such as the herbarium and library, VC’s delegation advanced to Buhoma to tour ITFC-MUST land for potential ventures of investment and income generation. Thumbs-up Mr. VC for your hands-on tour of all MUST departments including the remotely situated ITFC. We look forward to more visits of this kind to continue rubbing shoulders with all MUST top management. Succeed we MUST!
Medard Twinamatsiko, Badru Mugerwa, Emmanuel Akampurira and Duncan Bwanika