Makerere private students evicted from Lumumba Hall

Lumumba Hall at Makerere University as seen on August 17, 2022. PHOTO | FRANK BAGUMA

More than 100 students on private admission at Makerere University are stranded after the administration evicted them from Lumumba Hall to pave the way for renovation.

Although the management had initially asked the students to apply for spaces in other halls of residence, it later went back on the word.

Many students, who preferred to speak on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisal, said the situation is terrible.

A fourth-year student of journalism and communication said he cannot afford rent outside the campus premises. 

He said while at Lumumba, they were allowed to move in even before making a rent deposit but hostels do not have such provisions.

“I might not get accommodation this semester.  I will probably move to different students’ rooms. I tried acquiring a room in University Hall but the person does not accept installments.  He wants a minimum of Shs450,000 to sell his room to me which is Shs150,000 higher than the one I used to pay in Lumumba. I might opt for a dead year,’’ he said. 

Mr Trevor Tumuhairwe, a second-year student of social sciences, said most hostels are already full. He is currently staying with a friend.

Another student, who shares a rented house with his brother in Namuwongo, a city suburb, said the university authorities gave them short notice to vacate.

“First, we were left to apply for rooms before we went on holiday. Then they later told us to shift. Up to now, I haven’t got where to sleep since I can’t afford the hostel fee,’’ he said.

Mr Philip Tukamushaba, another affected student, said rooms outside the campus premises are expensive.

“We have been accessing rooms at Shs300,000 a semester, but now I have to pay around Shs700,000 in a hostel,’’ he said.

Management stand

Prof Barnabus Nawangwe, the university Vice Chancellor (pictured), said their decision cannot be reversed. 

“About 30,000 of the 35,000 of our students, including 2,000 government students reside in hostels off campus. There is no crisis if the 100 privately sponsored students who resided in Lumumba do the same,” he said.