How Makerere used allowances for Gov’t sponsored students to pay striking lecturers

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Government sponsored students at Makerere University may have to wait a bit longer for their allowances after the Management deliberately used the funds to pay strike lecturers’ incentive arrears.

According to sources that preferred anonymity, management top officials had a financial management meeting held in the Senior Common Room on Tuesday to discuss a way forward for lecturers who had suspended evening classes over unpaid incentives and allowances. However, a many issues were left unresolved and agreed to resume the meeting on Wednesday 14, 2018.

In the meeting that was also attended by Mr Bruce Kabaasa the chairman university’s appointments board committee, the issue of Living Out Allowance (LOA) for government sponsored students was tackled and left hanging because the urgency of the lecturers’ issue.

“They discussed the issue of allowances but it was agreed upon that money for government sponsored students, since it was already on the university’s account, can be used to pay the pressing issue of incentives. Remember yesterday was the deadline that was given by Law School lecturers and those in Journalism Department to have their arrears paid or they stop teaching evening students,” the source said.

To prove this, a lecturer from the department of Journalism and Communication told this writer that the strike had been called off since their money was now being wired to their accounts as they had demanded.

The source added that officials resolved that; LOA will now be discussed later as the university waits for internally-generated funds from fees paid by students.

However, according to media reports, the University Bursar Augustine Tamale had last week confirmed the receipt of the money from government to pay LOA.

But up to date, the over 2000 students are yet received it

A week ago, the Dean of Students Cyriaco Kabagambe wrote to wardens of all halls of residence directing them to ask for students mobile money numbers, arguing that the payment system had changed from use of bank accounts to E-Wallet system.

Several students we interviewed confirmed that they registered their numbers. Though after a few days, another communication circulated indicating that the new system would take effect beginning next academic year 2018/2019.

At Makerere and other public universities, students on government scholarship (non residents) get allowances to cater for their meals and accommodation. Those who opt to take lunch from the campus get about Shs 630,000 while those who don’t take a meal get Shs 770,000.

This allowance is normally given to students three weeks after the first semester has started and a fortnight after the second semester.

However, this time, students say the money has taken close to a month now.

Efforts to get comments top officials were futile as our repeated calls were not answered.

Thousands of the beneficiaries are stranded on the rentals and hostels outside campus since by admission; they aren’t allowed to reside in the university’s halls of residence.

Francis Ainomugisha, a second year Student at the school of Education said that the delay has caused serious challenges for him.

“Because our parents know that we get money for accommodation and meals, they don’t give us a lot of money. Now I had told the landlord that I would pay after three weeks but today is the end of the fourth week. I don’t know where I will sleep,” Ainomugisha said.

 

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