By Umaru Kashaka
Members of Parliament on the Education Committee have appealed to Government to expedite the process of re-opening Makerere University to enable students resume their studies.
While meeting the state minister for Primary Education, Kamanda Bataringaya, over the 2013/2014 budget for the ministry, MPs noted that the continued closure was likely to affect the performance of students who have already started counting the costs.
“Parents want to see value for money and there is no way they’ll see this when the university is still closed. What is the Gov’t doing about this continued closure?” the Mityana Woman MP, Sylvia Namabidded, the Committee chair, asked.
The minister explained that efforts to re-open the University are underway and requested MPs to allow the negotiations go on without interference.
“Talks between the University Council (the institution’s supreme governing body) and lecturers are underway and we should all wait for the outcome,” he appealed.
However as negotiations to re-open the University continue, lecturers on Sunday scoffed at reports that the Government will sack them if they prolong their strike over the demand for 100% salary increment.
They rejected the 20% pay rise the Council tabled before them last week, saying no body demanded for it and that it would be imprudent for the Government to talk about sacking them.
“If up to now the Government has not provided enough funds to recruit up to the set staff ceiling, how can you sack the few you have?” Louis Kakinda, the spokesperson of the Makerere University Academic Staff Association (MUASA) told New Vision on phone before asserting that their industrial action was in line with labour laws.
It is now two weeks since the university was closed after both the administrative and academic staff laid down their tools, demanding for 100% increment in salaries.