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Makerere students strike over fees and meals

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MUK students display a placard that describes their reason for the strike. PHOTO BY ABUBAKER LUBOWA 

By Patience Ahimbisibwe

Posted  Monday, July 14  2014 at  12:00
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Police have deployed at Makerere University, following a Monday morning strike staged by students over the management’s decision to scrap meals in the halls of residence and the 10 percent tuition increment policy for the new students.

Makerere University Council scrapped free meals to all students due to the high food prices and the financial squeeze at Uganda’s biggest university. The council, the institution’s top governing body, resolved that every student in the Government scholarship scheme should instead be given a daily meal allowance of Shs2, 000.

The council also approved a 10 percent fees increment for every new student at the university.

However, students led by their Guild President Mr Ivan Bwowe on Monday went on strike opposing the two management decisions and demanded for the resignation of the University’s Vice chancellor, Prof.John Ddumba Ssentamu, “because he has failed to manage the university”.

“We demand 10% policy be abolished with immediate effect, meals be returned to halls of this public university. We the students also want Prof. Ddumba to resign immediately if he has failed to run this public university in the interest of future generation of this country,” Mr Bwowe said.

Police led by Kampala Metropolitan Police boss, Andrew Felix Kawesi and senior Superintendent of police in charge of operations, Sam Omara, have urged the students and the university management to resolve the university issues amicably.

“The university management should stop making wrong decisions that lead students into strike and think we (Police) shall always be there to help them resolve them. It is also unfair for management to scrap of meals without first consulting the students. However, they must learn to dialogue so as to reconcile their differences,” Mr Omara said.

Management refused to talk to Daily Monitor, saying they were not ready.