By C. Muhindo, G. Amme & M. Machocho
KAMPALA - A group of students from Makerere University have presented a petition to the university council requesting them to revisit the 10% fees increment policy.
The students, in a peaceful demonstration on Monday, asked the university council to halt the 10% policy execution which if passed, takes effect in the 2014/2015 academic year that starts in August.
In a dialogue with the students’ guild last week, the university Vice Chancellor Prof. John Ddumba Ssentamu told the student leaders to write to the council requesting for the revocation of the tuition increment.
“The university council takes the decision to increase fees and not the Vice Chancellor,” he told them.
On Monday, Ivan Bwowe, the university Guild President, called on the university to conduct a thorough forensic audit to ensure that the funds collected over the years have been properly accounted for and used for the intended purpose.
“We demand that management first justifies the proposed increment to council and to the students,” he said.
Guild President Ivan Bwowe stresses a point as group of other students listen on (and below). PHOTO/Tony Rujuta
In the petition, students are demanding that the council involves the government in managing the financial shortfalls in the university rather than always passing on the burden to the students.
Regional police commander for Kawempe metropolitan north, Steven Tanui was at the scene. He urged students to continue holding dialogues with stakeholders rather than demonstrating because "demonstrations do not yield anything".
“You should not destroy university property because it is yours,” he told the students.
Kawempe metropolitan north police commander Steven Tanui. PHOTO/Tony Rujuta
The university’s deputy spokesperson, Marion Alina, declined to give a comment on the matter, saying she has not yet received formal communication from the university council.
Edward Bukenya, a first year student who had requested for a dead year due to lack of tuition, said the fees increment is unfair to the poor students like him who struggle to pay their tuition.