The reopening of the university follows protracted negotiations and a resolution by lecturers through their Umbrella; Makerere University Academic Staff Association MUASA, to end a strike that had paralyzed work at the institution leading to its closure on November 1, 2016.
There is a poor turn up of students at Makerere University, as it opens its doors after two months of closure.
The reopening of the university follows protracted negotiations and a resolution by lecturers through their Umbrella; Makerere University Academic Staff Association (MUASA), to end a strike that had paralyzed work at the institution leading to its closure on November 1, 2016.
The staff went on strike on October 25 demanding for their incentive, additional financial package given to members of staff for undertaking extra duties. Such duties include among others, teaching evening and weekend classes. They had not been paid since February 2016.
The arrangement which started in 2013 has seen lecturers earn incentives amounting to 70 percent of their monthly salaries. The university pays up to 4 billion Shillings every month in incentives to it's over 2,600 members of staff. By the time of the strike, lectures were demanding for over 28 billion Shillings in incentive arrears.
Following the resolution, the university council set today January 2, 2017 as reporting date for all students to enable them continue with the first semester of the academic year which was cut short by the strike. However, only a handful of students are seen at the campus today.
Although offices were opened as early as 8 am, all lecture halls are empty with no significant academic activity taking place. Instead the place is surrounded by cleaners who are visibly undertaking a general cleaning exercise, in preparation for the resumption of classes.
MUASA Spokesperson Deus Kamunyu told Uganda Radio Network that lectures are ready to resume their duties as soon as the students report.
Aggrey Katurege, the Chairperson of Mitchell Hall, which houses at least 700 students, told URN that not even a quarter of the students had reported yet. Katurege attributed the low turn-up to the week-long festive celebrations.
According to Pious Mwabine, the University Hall Chairperson, more students are expected to arrive at the campus later today, as majority is still travelling back from far off upcountry destinations.
Ochola's journalism career begun from Radio King 90.2 FM in Gulu around 2009, and Radio Rupiny 95.7 Fm under Vision Group in 2012. He also reported for Mighty Fire 91.5 Fm, Kitgum in 2015 before joining Wizarts Foundation in 2017.
He has been reporting for Uganda Radio Network (URN) since 2017 before being posted as Bureau Chief Kitgum, and latr Gulu between 2018 - 2021. Currently, he reports from Parliament.