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Museveni meets top Makerere lecturers

By Vision Reporter

Added 13th September 2011 03:00 AM

PRESIDENT Yoweri Museveni has met the leaders of Makerere University lecturers to discuss issues relating to their stand-off with management that led to the closure of the institution.

PRESIDENT Yoweri Museveni has met the leaders of Makerere University lecturers to discuss issues relating to their stand-off with management that led to the closure of the institution, reports Conan Businge.

The delegation was led by the lecturers’ association, chairman Dr. Tanga Odoi.
The meeting, held at the State House in Nakasero on Sunday, was part of the consultations intended to solve the crisis and enable the re-opening of the university.

After the meeting, the spokesperson of the lecturers’ association, Louis Kakinda, said: “There are a number of issues we agreed on with the President in regard to our demands. But the President said he would first make consultations and thereafter write to us about his decisions.”

Kakinda added that they expect the President to communicate to the association on the issues they raised.
Addressing journalists at the university, he said the President agreed that lecturers should be paid their arrears. The lecturers are owed sh6.4b in salary arrears.

Kakinda expressed hope that it may not take long before Makerere is re-opened.
Contacted yesterday, education minister Jessica Alupo said the meeting was meant to build consensus on issues affecting the university, ahead of a Cabinet meeting, which will discuss their grievances.

“The President wanted to make sure that during the Cabinet meeting, decisions are not taken in favour of one group,” she added.

A top university official said the re-opening of the institution was a decision that would be taken by the Cabinet.

Sources said the President would meet the education ministers, the university council and management before the issues are discussed by the Cabinet.
The meeting was supposed to be held yesterday, but it was called off.

The guild vice-president, Doreen Nyanjura, called on students to be patient as the issues are sorted out.
She, however, said if the university was not re-opened by September 23, they would call upon parents to join them in a peaceful demonstration.

Two weeks ago, Makerere University was closed indefinitely after staff went on strike.

They demanded for the release of their sh16.7b pension funds from the national insurance corporation (NIC).
The staff also want their salaries to be increased to a minimum sh8m for the lowest paid members of the academic staff and their salary arrears paid immediately.

Although the Government paid off some of the arrears and promised to have the pension funds paid and salary increased, the lecturers refused to resume work.

Kakinda said sh1.7b in salary arrears was paid to the university accounts yesterday.

The sh16.7b accumulated between July 1996 and 2005 when NIC operated a deposit administration plan for the university’s pension scheme.

A recent report by the Auditor General indicates that NIC owes Makerere sh26.9b, higher than what the corporation and the university earlier quoted. The staff were angered by NIC’s continued claim that it had a balance of only sh3.7b.


Museveni meets top Makerere lecturers

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