The Leader of the Opposition in Parliament, Hon Winnie Kiiza has called upon government to immediately reopen Makerere University, which was closed on Tuesday 1st November 2016, by His Excellency the President.
“It is unfortunate that the President has closed Makerere University after failing to a meet the demands of the lecturers who are demanding for their salaries”, she said
Kiiza made these remarks in during an up country trip to Northern Uganda, in which she led a delegation of 15 Members of Parliament form the Opposition on a tour of government programmes and refugee settlements in Adjumani District.
Kiiza called upon the government to pay the lecturers as a priority. “If government can afford to bail out Surdhir Ruparelia to a tune of Ushs200bn, why can’t it pay the lecturers their money?” she asked.
She added that government promised to enhance the lecturers’ salaries in 2014, which they would receive in arrears.
“The Minister of Education promised in August 2016, that the Lecturers would start receiving their money in October, but up to now they haven’t received anything,” she said.
~Kiiza suggested that if the President could afford to give out money through the Wealth Creation programme, the government could also pay the teachers who are demanding only six billion shillings.
“The money the lecturers are demanding is money they have worked for. These lecturers are trying to shape the future of our children, why can’t government realize this? she mused.
She said that the only way Uganda can develop is through educating its citizens who would later use the acquired skills to develop the country. She added that many parents who are educating their children in Makerere University are going through a hard time to pay tuition fees.
“It is unfortunate that many parents have sold their land, while others have acquired loans so that their children get a decent education. However, government just closed the university without finding other alternatives”, she said.
The Leader of the Opposition added that the students were striking because they have not been taught because the lecturers have not been paid their money for the last one-year. “How do you work for the whole year from morning to evening and you actually you are not being paid? How does the government expect the lecturers to survive? she asked.
Hon Kiiza therefore called upon government to immediately reopen Makerere University and spare the parents’ money because they pay it through strife.
Hon Sewungu, who also serves as the Shadow Minister of Education, called upon the Minister of Education Hon. Janet Museveni, to resolve the issues before closing the University without dialogue with the affected parties.