MAKERERE University is no doubt one of the powerhouses of academic excellence in the world. However, the rate at which strikes are happening at the university threatens to ruin this good name.
In December, 2006 the university was closed for a month due to a lecturersâ€™ strike over salary increment.
In February 2008, lecturers again went on a sit-down strike citing lack of teaching materials and the diversion of their pension funds to pay their salaries. And in March 2010, during the guild election campaigns, students took to the streets after a trigger-happy guard shot two students at God-Is-Able hostel in Makerere Kikoni.
You would think the promising reign of Prof. Venancius Baryamureeba would be spared by strikes, but that hasnâ€™t been the case.
In his nine months in office, the vice chancellor has already dealt with four strikes.
First, the strike over dollar-rate overcharge, and another over cancellation of the universityâ€™s participation in the 2010 inter-university games. Then came the guild elections strike, and recently, the staff versus the National Insurance Corporation pension strike that was called off last week after the President intervened.
Credit goes to the students community for keeping their cool during the staff pensions strike.
The vice-chancellor should institute a professional committee to address staff grievances.
George W. Ntambaazi
MA Public Policy student at University of Osnabrueck-Germany
Makerere University strikes are worrying