Makerere Lecturers: Striking Was Costly

Makerere University lecturers votes today to end weeks of striking

Lecturers at Makerere University have called off their month and a half long strike following an urgent general meeting that was convened on Monday morning.

In the meeting, viagra approved divergent views were raised regarding the merits and demerits of suspending the strike before taking it to a vote.

81 of them voted in favor of the suspension while 56 voted to have the strike prolonged further. The common arguments that informed the suspension were hinged on the fact that it was becoming economically costly for Uganda’s top institution to remain closed.

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Many argued that Makerere this closure was affecting projects that are funded through the university as well as patients in Mulago hospital who rely on support staff from the Makerere School of Medicine.

The teaching staff declared a strike in October this year seeking unpaid salary incentive arrears for 6 months since July 2016.

“We should not premise our decision to call off the strike on the Council’s humiliating offers that are selfish. But rather think about patients who are dying in Mulago due to inadequate medical personnel as well as half a billion that Makerere controls in project funds,” argued Dr. Deus Kamunyu Muhwezi the Information Minister on the MUASA executive.

He however criticized the two governing bodies of the university; Council and Management for being ‘self seekers’, blaming them for creating the mess that has stalled the institution. Earlier, the MUASA Chairman Dr. Muhammad Kigundu had said the executive had re-consulted the university council following last week’s botched MUASA assembly but got an ‘unsatisfactory’ response.

“I appeal to you (staff) that we resume work as the comprehensive audit and investigations by the visitation committee carry on,” Dr. Kigundu pleaded.

Similarly, Prof. Umar Kakumba from the College of Business argued; “By suspending the strike, we shall save the reputation of the university which has gone to the ruins.”

The issue of government fully taking up Makerere University’s wage bill was again reiterated with many of the staff citing it as the fundamental problem. A minority of the lecturers however argued that it was illogical for the strike to be suspended when the issues that caused the industrial action were still unresolved.

“If we haven’t met the objectives of the strike, it is foolish and illogical to then call it off. We can’t keep striking every year and expect different results,” submitted law don, Dr. Busingye Kabumba.

Other participants with similar views opined that the strike was ‘beginning to bite’ and exerting pressure to the government and that sustaining it would have yielded more results.

It now remains unclear when President Museveni will lift the closure of the university as graduation of over 1,500 students in January hangs in balance.


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