The College of Computing and Information Sciences (CoCIS) has celebrated the services rendered by  Retired Principal Registrar Patrick Feni Babanga and  two Assistant Accountants- Godfrey Kato and William Ssebanakkitta.

The tradition of celebrating and appreciating retiring staff, is one, that has been cherished  by the College leadership.

Feni, Kato and Ssebanakkitta were recognised for their dedicated service to  the university  at  farewell luncheon that was presided over by the College  Principal, Prof. Tonny Oyana  at Piato Restaurant in Kampala.

The three were presented with plaques and brown envelopes containing cash. The event was also attended by unit heads and administrative staff.

Staff Recognition is a Welfare, Christian and Human tradition

Prof. Oyana said, recognising staff is a welfare function.

“Staff have worked with you for a very long time. They have given their heart and mind. The only thing you can do is to recognise them. Of course you can write a letter, but positive reinforcement sometimes requires that you step out of the traditional means of recognising staff”, The Principal stated.

Prof. Oyana recognised the Retired Principal Registrar  Patrick Feni Babanga for his exemplary service.

Patrick Feni Babanga receives tokens from Prof. Tonny Oyana

“Patrick has served us in a very critical unit of the college for a very long time. Since I joined the college, I have never heard of issues of examination and  marks sale. His integrity was very good. So, such a person from the true African tradition, we share a meal to celebrate the journey they have been onto”. Prof. Oyana appreciated.

Feni Babanga  has served the university for 32 years.  He was appointed into university service on 29th December 1992 and retired on 17th March 2024.

Prof. Oyana explained that small things such as sharing a meal and appreciating staff   for the wonderful work done on behalf of the college and the university is a culture that should grow in Makerere especially thanking people when they are still alive.

Refering to popular Ugandan musician song, “ Basiima Ogenze” Oyana said, “ Nze Nsiima Oliwo” meaning, instead of recognising people after they are gone or dead, for him, he appreciates while they are around and still living.

“Godfrey Kato was a dedicated accountant, a foot soldier for the college. If you wanted things to be cleared in two days, he will be knocking doors. He was hands on. He impressed me with that approach. By me saying thank you to him, that is the least I could do as Principal of this college”. He said.

 Godfrey Kato has served the university for  27 years. He was appointed into university service on 29th August 1997 and retired on 21st January, 2024.

Ssebanakitta William receives a plaque and brown envelop from Prof. Tonny Oyana.

Prof. Oyana acknowledged that more than often, and, at the larger level big people are honoured.  He emphasised that,  the foot soldiers of Makerere should be honoured, because they are the ones that keep the lights on.

“William, is generally a quiet man. There are only two times that William has come to my office and knocked. And whenever he was  knocking, I gave him whatever  he came to ask for. He was a gentleman. Again, the same principle applies. After giving the college and Makerere your whole. You wake up everyday, the only thing I can do as an administrator, is to say, thank you and celebrate by having a meal”.

“In Christianity, it is called breaking bread together. Even Jesus before he went up, he broke bread with the disciples. So breaking bread is a tradition not only in Christianity but among us human beings.”, He added

William Ssebanakkitta has served the university for 25 years. He was transferred to the College of Computing and Information Sciences   on 6th May 2016. He was appointed into university service on 15th August, 1999 and retired on 20th  February 2024.

Son of Mr. Godfrey Kato (red) receives plaque and envelop from Prof. Tonny Oyana on his behalf.

Staff Preparation  for Exit Important

In his message to staff, Prof. Oyana reminded them that there is an entry into the system and an exit from the system. All those points according to Oyana are critical.

When entering staff into the system, Oyana observed that , they are taken through various processes such as orientation and staff development. Then at the exit, again they should be prepared, thanked and celebrated.

“What Human resource needs to do is to prepare people for exit. They are very good at entry but at exit, there are letters that, two years to go, one year to go but they can do better at preparing staff at exit.

We should not only welcome them when they are full of energy.  When they are retiring, we should be there for them all the time. People would be more associated to the institution and Makerere for a longer time when they retire”.

“It is simple, be nice to people when they come in and when they are living. That is Why I celebrate my workers in this college. Since I came in, every exit of a person has been celebrated and they have been very grateful”, the professor advised

Moving into uncharted waters prepared to sail on – Patrick Feni Babanga

Retired Principal Registrar Patrick Feni Babanga expressed gratitude for the gesture and honour accorded to him as well as other retirees from Finance Department (William & Kato). He said, he was moving into uncharted waters but prepared to sail on.

Feni summed up his  experience in three metaphors namely:  the Potter, the Wheel barrow and the Cruise ship.

Patrick Feni Babanga (behind) speaking on behalf of the retirees

“We are potters entrusted to model our clients into productive output. Quality of teachers, staff and students matter. Bad clay, shoddy craftsmanship impacts  on our output.  As Wheel barrows, strong and effective institutions rely on effective and efficient systems.

Referring to the cruise ship Babanga said,  a ship  has a skipper (captain) who is assisted by the crew consisting of Engineers, Cooks, Health personnel etc. Students are like passengers on the ship. Collective effort  of the crew ensures good experience of the passengers (learners)”.

Feni appreciated management and staff for according him respect and total cooperation. He singled out the Principal CoCIS for partitioning and creating a decent and impressive office space for Registrars at Block B, level 3, CoCIS – the best at Makerere University.

A section of staff attending the farewell luncheon at Piato restaurant.

Talking about the need for CoCIS to reposition itself in the agenda for Mak@100 – research – led university, Feni expressed the need for each academic staff  to target 2 PhDs  and 10 Masters graduands  w.e.f. 2025.

Report by:

Jane Anyango

Principal Communication Officer CoCIS