No reasons to strike for; let us resolve all problems through negotiation and not violence – Prof Nawangwe tells off Papa Were

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Papa Salim Were government yesterday (Saturday) organized a consultative meeting to discuss multiple pressing issues that are affecting students. They include sex for marks scandals, scrapping of meals for students sleeping at the university, ‘scrapping’ of evening among others.

According to the letter seen by Cyclone Times, Prof Nawangwe, the University Vice Chancellor was invited to attend the meeting but he skipped it, something that aggravated students’ anger to call for an industrial action to start on Monday April 15, 2018 until their issues are solved by the university.

“All the leaders who attended the meeting unanimously agreed with the Guild President to call for an industrial action commencing on Monday April 15, 2018, put your red gowns and stand up yourself” Kato Martins, the Guild information minister told Cyclone Times

However, after the declaration of the strike on Monday, the Vice chancellor responded to the strike threats saying that he is on an official travel outside Uganda but ready to interact with the guild leadership on Wednesday next week upon his return.

On issues pressing Makerere students, the Vice Chancellor said that the university is handling all issues with the seriousness they deserve and called “Makerereans” to stay calm and go about their studies in preparation for the exams coming soon.

“On the issue of student meals for the 2000 resident Government sponsored Students, this matter is now before Parliament and we have to wait for their re-commendation. Regarding sexual harassment, you all know that I am handling this issue with the seriousness it deserves. I have appointed a committee to handle all cases of sexual harassment” the vice chancellor said.

He responded to the guild leadership saying that the strike isn’t necessary and called the Guild leadership to shun hooliganism and adopt new culture of doing things.

“Together let us uphold the new peace at Mak [Makerere] and resolve all problems amicably through negotiation and not violence. Let us uphold this new culture and make our great University shine again internationally and restore respect to the Makerere graduate” the VC added

But when contacted after the VC had replied to strike threats with a soul touching message on whatsapp, the Guild information minister said in the coming hours the guild president will determine their next action.

He however, warned that there is nothing to stop their action until the VC has explained to the guild leadership on how he is going to work out all the mess he has caused.

Below is Nawangwe’s full communication he posted in the WhatsApp group for government sponsored students at 9:36pm.

Gallant Makerereans, Hon. Kato Martins, Guild Information Minister has circulated information regarding a GRC meeting this morning and call for industrial action. In the communique, it is mentioned that I was invited to attend the GRC meeting and I did not attend. Indeed I received an invitation yesterday evening from the Guild President, H.E. Papa Were Salim to attend the GRC session this morning to answer queries regarding student concerns.

I immediately responded, informing the Guild President that I would be unable to attend due to an earlier scheduled engagement and requested that the GRC submits a written petition to enable me consult before giving credible responses.

As I write, I am at a meeting lobbying for a scholarship programme to help our economically disadvantaged students. Regarding the issues I have seen raised in a post by Mr. Frank Bwambale, I wish to once again reiterate that evening programmes have not been scrapped. Indeed, we have already advertised for evening programmes for the next academic year! On the issue of student meals for the 2000 resident Government sponsored Students, this matter is now before Parliament and we have to wait for their recommendation. Regarding sexual harassment, you all know that I am handling this issue with the seriousness it deserves.

I have appointed a committee to handle all cases of sexual harassment and I urge you Gallant Makerereans to interact with the Committee.

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