MUST students protest delayed release of govt allowances

Students of MUST hold placards during their protest at the university premises in Mbarara City on August 9, 2022. PHOTO/julius byamukama

What you need to know:

  • A government official told students that the delayed release of funds was due to a system upgrade at the finance ministry. 

Students of Mbarara University of Science and Technology (MUST) Tuesday morning demonstrated within campus premises over a two-month delay in release of government allowances.

Learners accuse the university administration of deliberately delaying to release their funds even after peaceful talks with the student leaders.

“We want all our allowances because it is the only money we survive on since our parents are contented that we are taken care of. They only facilitate our transport to school,” said Joshua Sserubiri, a student of science with Education in Chemistry and Mathematics.

MUST has a population of over 6,000 students with at least 600 of these on government sponsorship. State sponsored students are entitled to at least Shs800, 000 living-out allowances per semester.

“Some of our colleagues have been locked out of their hostels for failing to pay their rent. We shall not go to class if this money has not gone on our accounts,” the students chanted.

The on-going semester at MUST started July 24 after a two-month delay forced by an extended holiday to avoid a crisis, alleged the institution’s guild president, Mr Justus Bukenya Kizito.

“The students have equally been patient enough so their reaction is justifiable,” he added.

Addressing the striking students on Tuesday, MUST Deputy Vice Chancellor Prof Nickson Kamukama called for patience.  

“We thought that by now the Ministry of finance will have released the money but up to now nothing has come through. We have played our role which is to ensure that the paper work is finished on time,” said Prof Kamukama.

He further encouraged students to return to class.

“I assure you that in two days the money will be on your accounts. I don’t see why you are doing this because even your lecturers have not yet been paid either,” Prof Kamukama added.

Mbarara City Deputy Resident City Commissioner (RCC) Mr Robert Kanusu who had arrived to restore sanity told students that the delayed release of funds was due to a system upgrade at the finance ministry.

“So, you will receive your money in two days’ time. In this case, the University administration is exonerated,” he added.

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