Business owners at Makerere up in arms over looming eviction

What you need to know:

  • The eviction notice seen by this publication indicates that all business owners were expected to have vacated the university premises by July 1.

Business owners operating within the precincts of Makerere have petitioned the University Council over its decision to evict them.
Through their lawyers of Asiimwe Advocates and Solicitors and Elgon Advocates, the business owners claim the move is unfair and illegal, arguing that some of them have been operating there for the last 30 years, with some having permanent structures.
“Our clients are grossly inconvenienced and aggrieved with the resolution of the university council for being illegal, unfair and unjust...,” the notice reads in part.
The eviction notice seen by this publication indicates that all business owners were expected to have vacated the university premises by July 1.

“This letter serves to warn all those who will be found operating their businesses that all their materials will be confiscated without any further warning. They will be charged with trespassing,” the letter written by Prof Henry Alinaitwe on behalf of the Deputy Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration stated in part. Businesses facing closure include restaurants, canteens, photocopying, stationery, bars, vendors, salons, telephone booths and washing bays.
In their petition, the business operators have given the university a three-day ultimatum to rescind their decision or they seek legal redress.

“You fail to honour these demands within 3 days from the date of service of this notice on you, our stern instructions are to unleash the legal machinery and set in motion the legal process against you at your own peril and costs,” the business owners warned in their petition.
When contacted last evening, the University Secretary, Mr Yusuf Kiranda, said he had not seen the petition.
“I have not received any notice of intention to sue from anyone, and I cannot make a comment on what I have not received,” he said by telephone.

Meanwhile, several students have expressed dissatisfaction about the planned eviction.
A student from the College of Civil Engineering, who requested anonymity in order to speak freely, said he was doing a business of tailoring, fashion and design for almost six months from one of the halls of residence.
He said the decision to evict them will affect his side income.
Students speak
Ms Rashidah Ndagire, a student from the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, said the eviction will make lives difficult as they will have to foot long distances to Wandegeya or Kikoni to find the services.

“These people have been affordable and accessible, so when they terminate them, the places will be few and congested, especially on printers and photocopying machines. Right now the photocopiers are many but still you find there queues, what will happen if these people are evicted?” she wondered.
 

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