MPIGI. The State Minister for Higher Education Mr John Chrysestom Muyingo has condemned the rising violence caused from demonstrations staged by both lecturers and students in public universities across the country.
Minister Muyingo, also MP for Bamunanika County in Luweero District was speaking at the 23rd anniversary celebrations for Uganda Martyrs’ University, Nkozi in Mpigi District on Friday under a theme: “Like the Uganda Martyrs, be my Witnesses to the Ends of the Earth.”
He appealed to students and lecturers who cause strikes to act and express their grievances within the confines of the law and always respect the guidelines drawn by respective university councils.
“They are nine public universities in our country but every week, we see in the media students striking, lecturers resort to threats and blackmail thinking they will force the government to do what they want and get them as soon as they wish. These strikes are unacceptable especially at this time when our government is improving education standards. We are tired and we shall not tolerate this indiscipline. Time is up for you to stop it immediately before any strong action is taken against you. Why don’t you resort to dialogues to solve any grievances?” he asked.
He commended UMU for their good quality and dedicated education services to the people of Uganda and her neighbourhood especially in Eastern and Southern Africa.
“Keep the quality and don’t allow institutions to pass ‘products’ which are half-baked. So longer as you keep quality in education and discipline, you will get all the support needed from our government,” he added.
In his message read by Minister Muyingo, President Museveni (guest-of-honour) emphasized universities on teaching science, technology and practical skills that will make youths more employable.
The UMU Day celebrations started with Eucharistic sacrifice led by Msgr. Charles Kasibante, the Vicar General of Kampala Archdiocese who urged Christians to stick on cores of their religion and objectives of the Catholic Church.
Last Tuesday, Makerere University lecturers under their umbrella body, Makerere University Academic Staff Association (MUASA) announced a sit-down strike in protest against management’s failure to pay their arrears amounting to Shs28billions for eight months.
The students like their lecturers, also staged a strike on Wednesday over suspension of 15 students who allegedly carried food from the serving counter and poured it at the entrance to Mary Stuart Hall.
Also, on the same day, police in Masaka foiled a strike at Kampala University after students attempted to vandalize property, accusing the University administration of failing to address their grievances.
About Uganda Martyrs University
According to Prof. Chrisestom Maviiri, the Vice Chancellor, UMU was established in October 1993 and it is a private university affiliated with the Roman Catholic Church in Uganda with campuses in Rubaga, Masaka, Nsambya, Kabale, Mbale, Fort portal and Nkozi.