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Busoga University students go on strike over lecturers' pay

By Moses Bikala

Added 4th March 2016 01:50 PM

Anti riot police from Iganga Central Police Station was deployed and engaged in running battles with the students

Busoga University students go on strike over lecturers' pay

Busoga University students block the Iganga-Jinja highway during the strike. Photo by Moses Bikala

Anti riot police from Iganga Central Police Station was deployed and engaged in running battles with the students

Students of Busoga University in Iganga have today gone on strike protesting the failure by lecturers to conduct lessons. 

Over 1000 students blocked the Iganga-Jinja highway burning tyres and sticks paralyzing traffic for over three hours. 

Business was disrupted for over three hours as shop owners at CMS village where the campus is located closed shop during the chaos. 

Anti riot police from Iganga Central Police Station was deployed and engaged in running battles with the students before firing teargas to disperse the students who were threatening to regroup at nearby Walugogo Estates in Iganga Municipality. 

The students accused the campus administration of failing to pay lecturers' salaries for the past nine months. 

One of the students who preferred anonymity said the university administration almost doubled tuition this academic year but they were shocked to discover that lecturers are not being paid. 

"We thought that the increment in our tuition would help clear the salaries of these lecturers but we are surprised that the situation has gotten worse" the student said. 

This is the second time the university students are striking this week over the issue. 

On Monday nursing students at the campus went on strike burning down furniture and breaking vandalising equipment in their dormitories and lecture rooms protesting the failure by the university administration to clear the salaries of lecturers. 

A total of 124 lecturers are demanding salaries from the universityThe lecturers are paid between sh560,000 for junior lecturers to sh1.3monthly. 

One of the students, Moses Kisekka blamed some of the senior administrators for the mess at the university. 

"Some of these people want to see that the vice chancellor is thrown out of office so that they take over" he said. 

Kisekka said they have on several occasions asked the university administration to solve the issues but their please have fallen on deaf ears. 

The university guild president Charles Opolot when contacted declined comment about the strike. 
"I request you just leave me alone" he said. 

The Iganga district police commanderNassibu Nditta said ten students have been arrested in connection with the strike. 

He said the ten students currently under police interrogation are to soon appear before court to answer charges of conducting an illegal strike at the university besides destruction of property worth millions of shillings belonging to the university. 

He said police was trying everything possible to ensure the situation is brought under control. 

The university vice chancellor David Kibikyo accused some of his staff of being behind the strike by the students. 

"I know there has been a plot by some of my staff to see that these students go on strike" he said. 

He confirmed the failure by the university to clear the lecturers' salary arrears but said the issue was being addressed by the administration. 

The Iganga Resident District Commissioner Purukeriya Mwine who visited the campus shortly after said he had summoned the vice chancellor and guild president for a meeting about the strike. 

"I know they are the people behind all this mess here" she said.

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