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Disgruntled Kabale University workers stage demo

By Job Namanya

Added 10th August 2016 01:09 PM

“Requests to address challenges have been made in a series of meetings between staff and management.”

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Kabale University academic staff association chairperson Emmanuel Nkundizana led the protesters during the strike. (Credit: Job Namanya)

“Requests to address challenges have been made in a series of meetings between staff and management.”

Kabale University staff have laid down their tools, citing job insecurity and a transition crisis.

The institution’s academic staff association chairperson, Emmanuel Nkundizana, said the staff were demonstrating their dissatisfaction over delayed payment of salaries for a period of five months.

They are also unhappy about a two-year period of no remittance of statutory deductions, as well as a one-year salary break for part-time lecturers.

Also, the workers are disgruntled with their delayed absorption and validation into the university service despite a formal letter from the permanent secretary asking university authorities to do so, added Nkundizana.

 “We have been informally communicated to by the Kabale University management of the parallel payrolls and phased takeover of Kabale University by government, which is breeding uncertainty and disgruntlement among staff.”

 

Steven Rugumambazu, a lecturer, said they also demand for a forensic audit by the office of the Auditor General of financial management, recruitment procedures, study leave, staff promotions and welfare, procurement, among many others.

He said various efforts made by staff to engage Kabale University administrators have yielded no results.

“Requests to address challenges have been made in a series of meetings between staff and management.”

He further revealed that the Kabale University Savings Credit and Cooperative (KAB SACCO), where members would access short-term financing, has no funds because Kabale University management has failed to remit the monies despite deducting it from staff salaries.

Dr. Joseph Tindyebwa, another lecturer, said they want the funds they need from the university to be found as soon as possible and all qualifying staff to be taken up by the government in this financial year.

The strike saw the staff members close the main university gate, lecture rooms, library, pathways within the university and also the switching off of the main generator.

 

The move called for the intervention of the Kabale district police under the command of ASP Henry Kisembo, the Field Force Unit commander. He asked the striking staff to keep calm and wait for the district authorities to act on their concerns.

“I thank you for being peaceful. We have learnt of your concerns and the district authorities will organize a meeting with you as soon as possible to sort out these concerns,” he said.

Meanwhile, Ephraim Manzi Tumubweine, the Kabale University Council chairperson, admitted that the university is in a crisis and they are working around the clock to solve the concerns of workers.

He said they held a top management meeting last week and agreed to clear some of the concerns before the end of this week.

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