By Innocent Anguyo
Makerere University has vehemently refuted reports that it is bent on frustrating the implementation of the recent remuneration deal it struck with striking staff.
Makerere University academic, administrative and support staff last month suspended their three weeks long industrial action and agreed to resume work.
Thereafter, the University Council, Makerere’s supreme decision making body opened the university that same day, whilst announcing that freshmen and fresh women shoould report for 2013/2014 academic semester.
The developments stemmed from a resolution of the staff associations to accede to the University Council’s proposal to consolidate the 36 allowances to pay a 70% top-up incentive allowance to each member of staff.
Five days after the deal was reached, media reports yalleged that some senior Makerere officials tasked with the responsibility of ensuring that the deal comes to fruition were opposed to it.
Subsequently, it was reported that Dr Muhammed Kiggundu Musoke, the leader of Makerere University Academic Staff Association (MUASA) accused Joshua Karamagi, the University Bursar and David Kahundha, the University Secretary of plotting to frustrate prompt implementation of the deal on grounds that the university lacked money.
The staff further threatened to shun university duty if Makerere attempted to make a U-turn on the 70% allowance increment deal. Efforts to reach Kiggundu over the matter yesterday hit a snag as his mobile phone was switched off.
However, Senior Makerere publicist Ritah Namisango yesterday allayed fears of Makerere staff that the remuneration deal clinched was a “hoax” as media reports put it yesterday.
“Makerere University Council is still committed to the payment of the incentive to all members of staff. The Chairperson of Council, Eng. Dr. Charles Wana Etyem on behalf of the University Council, wrote a letter dated 29th August 2013 to Chairpersons of the respective Staff Associations communicating that the payment of the incentive will be effective 30th September 2013, and the arrears for July/August will be paid after the sixth week of the opening (November 2013),” said Namisango.
Speaking to the New Vision in an interview, the staff spokesman Louis Kakinda said the Makerere Deputy Vice Chancellor in charge of Finance and Administration Dr Barnabas Nawangwe had circulated an email reiterating the above information on implementation of the allowance raise.
“He (Nawangwe) sent emails to clear the doubts of staff about the implementation of the allowance increment. However, we want to categorically state that whoever stands in the way of resumption of work by staff as scheduled is a saboteur because such a move will cause chaos at the university,” warned Kakinda.