Message from BICOSA Chairperson Dr Spero Byokunda (to OGs and OBs)

Greetings to you OGs and OBs of Bishop Comboni College Kambuga also known as BICOSA. I salute u all.

As most of you are aware this association was started way back in early 1990s by a group of former students of Comboni while at Makerere University, Nakawa College of Business Studies and Institute of Teacher Education Kyambogo basing on the fact that they were the only major national tertiary institutions in and around Kampala at that time. Of course we later invariably incorporated in other Comboni members and students from other tertiary institutions such as Health Institutions, Uganda Colleges of Commerce (UCCs), National Teacher’s Colleges (NTCs) and Uganda Technical Colleges (UTCs).

Without prejudice and from its inception, the known membership of the association was understood to mean and has always been any former student of Bishop Comboni College Kambuga the issues of payment of membership and subscription fees notwithstanding.

During the early formative stages and term of the association, the main area for congregation and activities revolved around the tertiary institutions mentioned above.

The vigour of participating in association activities was at that time very high considering the fact that Fr. Paolino Tomaino the founder of the school was still its head and was at the same time contributing substantially to the finances for running association activities.

When the founder students completed their studies at their respective tertiary institutions and dispersed into formal employment in various parts of the country coupled with the end of tenure of Fr.Paolino at the college, there was a lapse in continuity leading to reduced vigour and slackened cohesion of the members.

With the departure of Fr. Paolino and the entry of subsequent administrators at Comboni coupled with the then dynamics where there was no cordial and deliberate link between the school and the old students, BICOSA and its activities went into some sort of limbo.

Without going into the details about the acrimony and controversies that took place in Comboni, all of you should be aware of the infamous decline of the school under the various headmasters during the Post-Paolino era.

The Diocese and the Bishop in his wisdom as the registered trustee of all Diocesan schools decided to put it under the administration of the Congregation of the Brothers of Christian Instruction of Kisubi. The 1st Brother headmaster Bro. Felix didn’t do much in fostering BICOSA and even then his term was shortlived to enable him make any significant effect. It was not until the arrival of Brother John Bosco Kato in 2002 that the school started registering growth, development and improved discipline among students, teaching and non teachiing staff and overall improved academic performance up-to-date.

Subsequently with the able leadership of Headteacher Brother John Bosco Kato who has been at Comboni from 2002 todate, the school started a recovery path of growth and development in all spheres of the school.

From his own initiative and among many other good schemes, Bro. John Bosco Kato started a campaign of making contacts with the old students to reactivate activities of BICOSA including those students in tertiary institutions under their umbrella BICUSA (Bishop Comboni University Students Association).

Ofcourse basing on the famous proverb that charity begins at home, Bro. Kato John Bosco made his initial contacts from OBs and OGs that hail from Kanungu and this was mainly for conveniences sake and ease of contact and I think that’s how some of us like myself, Az, Chance Emmanuel, Sylvia Arinaitwe Tumuhairwe, Charzi Baribuganda, Kiggundu Muhokya, Silajji Kanyesigye Baguma etc ended up being contacted and actively involved in schools programs including proposals for Ministry if Education and Sports inclusion on the school’s Board of Governors.

With the encouragement from the management of Bro. Kato John Bosco, some of us took up the initiative to reactivate BiCOSA and its associated activities.

Going forward, an Executive Committee was elected and the same has been in leadership since. However in a period of about 10years ago on 26th November 2011, a general meeting was held and we arranged a mid term expansion of the Executive to include representatives of various tertiary institutions, Chance Emmanuel assigned for projects initiated by BICOSA for the school and as a Patron of University Students hailing from the whole of Kanungu under Kinkizi University Students Association (KIMUSA) and Azeirwe Boniface (AZ) as the Patron of BICUSA. This was aimed at making the executive have a wider outlook and injecting in younger people and youthful ideas into the leadership.

The Executive is as follows:
1. Chairperson: Spero Byokunda 0772407300
2. Vice Chairperson: Jane Ndamata 0772469128
3. Secretary: Joan Kebirungi 0772349120
4. Asst. Secretary: Joseph Okoth 0779679949
5. Publicity: Johns Banyenzaki 0772120693
6. Asst. Publicity: Hon. Jackline Kyatuhaire 0772666701
7. Treasurer: Naris Mugabe 0772417820
8. Asst Treasurer: Edith Kyomuhendo 0772586157
9. Committee Members:
i. Anne Kairu 0772469101
ii. Kiggundu Tukahebwa 0772586253
iii. Joyce Barigye Kamariza 0772509308
iv. Alice Mary Birungi Baruga 0772481062
v. Deus Nkwasibwe 0782107015
10. Emmanuel Chance Mugisha: Patron Kinkizi University Students and In-charge BICOSA projects at Comboni 077035922
11. Azairwe Boniface: Patron BICUSA 0702823802

*Representative of Tertiary Institutions*
1. KIU – Kiconco Judith 0775892660
2. MUBS – Darius Nkwasibwe 0781819477
3. Nkumba – Josephat Birungi 0771635313
4. UCU – Victor Turyabagye 078762609
5. Makerere: Salavirius Ahimbisibwe 0776880561
6. Makerere: Natukunda Bless 0785701420
7. Kyambogo: Anguzu Francis 0779356696
8. Multtech: Atukunda Afra 0787663923

*N.B* Considering that we have taken long to meet and interact, those members whose names and phone contacts have since changed please bear with me and don’t take any offence. Just send me the correct details and I will update accordingly.

In trying to streamline the association, we prepared a BICOSA constitution which was also registered at the Government’s Uganda Registration Services Bureau (URSB). We opened a Bank Account for BICOSA in Centenary Bank Makerere University Branch whose signatories are myself and Mugisha Chance Emmanuel Masasane.

Recent events are such that there has been a growing mood of agitation among some OBs and OGs that some of us particularly me have overstayed in ‘power’. I think the power being referred to in this context is misunderstood because some of us have only been spending our meager resources to ensure that BICOSA remains standing. However, I respect the sentiments of those members because they are entitled to their opinion.

As chairman and having been at the helm of the association for some good time and considering the need to change leadership, I had planned to call a general meeting like 2 years ago but due to countrywide restrictions arising out of COVID-19 made it difficult if not impossible to meet.

Considering that the COVID-19 restrictions have since been lifted, its a high time we organised for a general meeting that can guide us on how the association should be led and on how we should conduct our activities.

Currently, I have noted that there are 3 WhatsApp chat groups all of which have Bishop Comboni College Kambuga Old Students and Interestingly I am a member of all the 3 groups. These are:
*1. BCCK 82-90* This is a group that is expected to have all old students from pioneers when the school was started in 1982 up to 1990 when the era of the founder Fr. Paolino Tomaino ended.
*2. BICOSA “Our Networth”* is expected to have all old students of Comboni irrespective of the year of study at the school.
*3. Comboni League.* This is a group that is doing us proud by promoting soccer and other sports and comprises all interested members. In fact we have high hopes that through this group the name of Comboni can be well promoted if we support their initiative so that we form a football club that is promoted to Super League by FUFA rankings.

*On the issue of BICOSA promoting investiments:*

*1. BICOSA SACCO* versus *BICOS SACCO* The issue of forming a SACCO came up during one of Comboni’s day on 10th October when we were at the school where we had gone to join in the celebrations. Some members misunderstood the formation of BICOSA SACCO thinking it would still be under management of BICOSA association which I lead as Chairperson.

By proposing that we name the SACCO as BICOSA we thought and rightly so that it was for purposes of identity and membership.

Otherwise we are well aware that any SACCO once formed must as of necessity have an independent management executive of technical staff to run the SACCO professionally.

The main problem was that some people who hijacked the BICOSA SACCO during its inception thought and wrongly so that it would be an appendage of Spero’s BICOSA Executive. To me their main problem or discomfort was Spero featuring anywhere in its management which was a misconception.

However, going forward a ‘BICOSA’ SACCO was subsequently formed But acrimoniously renamed BICOS SACCO with an initial deposit of Ugx. 10,000,000 donated to us by Hon. Elizabeth Karungi. Moreover the spirit behind this donation by the Honourable was for BICOSA to form a BICOSA SACCO that was changed to BICOS SACCO without credible reasons! I have not paid and therefore not joined this BICOS SACCO as a paid up member and am not privy to its internal matters.

However, I guess and still have a feeling that the peole that were tasked with the management of that BICOS SACCO should not do away or negate the original objective of enhancing capacity solely for Comboni old students even under their new formed name of BICOS.

*2. COMIVEST HOLDINGS* a group of OGs and OBs under the umbrella of Bishop Comboni College Kambuga studentship from 1982-1990 fraternity formed an investment Club called COMIVEST HOLDINGS which has an elected management committee headed by Professor Peter Turyakira a lecturer in Business Management at Makerere University. The management team has an executive all elected by members.

Interestingly this COMIVEST is not restricted to only those who founded it. Its open to other OGs and OBs as long as you fulfil terms and conditions of its membership. To be registered as a member u pay Ugx. 300,000 for membership then u can buy shares of your capacity which are valued at Ugx. 100,000 per share.

I have hopes that when we meet in the general meeting you can get more details. However the Chairperson of COMIVEST Professor Peter Turyakira can be reached on 0771940074 for more details.

I therefore request that we should propose and agree among ourselves on the best dates and time when we can meet so that we can brainstorm and share on many of these things.

In conclusion, I wish to herewith attach the BICOSA constitution for ease of your reference. Please read through and raise any positive criticism, comments and input that you may think need to be included, reviewed or amended.

Best Regards and Good day.

*Pro Vita Discimus*
*For God and My Country*

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