Public universities to open this weekend

By Benon Nsubuga

Makerere University council is expected to sit to forge a way forward on the opening of the institution.

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ENTEBBE - All public universities are set to officially open for the first semester of a new academic year this weekend following an agreement reached between President Yoweri Museveni and leaders of non-teaching staff of public universities Tuesday evening.

Also in the meeting were administrators of public universities, education minister Janet Museveni and finance minister Matia Kasaija.

It is understood President Museveni promised to pay the sh28bn in October this year without fail.

He said that currently the government has already committed the money to development projects and so it cannot be diverted to clearing salary arrears because it will affect service delivery.

Museveni also instituted a committee chaired by the ministry of public service, with members from the finance and education ministries, leaders of non-teaching staff to “harmonize the salary scale” of teaching and non-teaching staff at public universities.

The acting vice chancellor of Makerere University, Prof. Barnabus Nawangwe attended the meeting.

"Basically, what he communicated is that the government is committed to enhancing the salaries of staff at public universities, and the first lot was the teaching staff, followed by the non-teaching staff,” he said after the meeting.

Museveni, he added, said the enhancement "can only be done within the resources available to the government. It was resolved that the enhancement will continue as the government gets resources and within the means available to the government.

"There will also be a committee to harmonize the salary scale, especially with regard to the single spine structure, which is being used for the teaching and non-teaching staff. It was also resolved that the members of the association return for duty as all these arrangements are being done."

Meanwhile, Makerere University council is expected to sit later today (Wednesday) to forge a way forward on the opening of the institution.