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Mak Guild Leaders Withdraw Cooperation from Management

Makerere University staff laid down their tools a fortnight ago protesting the suspension of their association leaders.
Isaac Kwagala, the Guild Speaker says students are running out of patience without classes
Makerere University student leaders have faulted management over the current stalemate between staff and administration, which has seen them go without lectures for over two weeks.

The Guild Speaker, Isaac Kwagala expressed the student's dissatisfaction in his statement issued on Monday. "The Student's Guild has noted with grave concern the manner in, which the University Management has approached and reacted to this issue,” he said. 

Adding that “It is regrettable that the university management has deliberately chosen to deny the existence of a strike, and to misrepresent the true state of affairs at the university by consistently misleading the general public that lectures are happening in the university, whereas not," Kwagala states. 

Makerere University staff laid down their tools a fortnight ago protesting the suspension of their association leaders. It came after Makerere University Vice Chancellor, Professor Barnabas Nawangwe suspended Bennet Magara, the Chairperson of Makerere Administrative Staff Association-MASA, his Secretary General, Joseph Kalema and Dr. Deus Kamunyu Muhwezi, the Chairperson Makerere University Academic Staff Association (MUASA) chairperson for alleged misconduct and violation of the terms of their employment.  

The trio's suspension has paralyzed business at the university. Kwagala says both students and their leaders remained calm and patient hoping that this dispute could be resolved amicably by management and staff associations. 

He says that they have come to the sad realization that they were naïve and overly optimistic in thinking that the staff associations and management had the best interests of students at heart, and that they would quickly arrive at a negotiated settlement. Kagwala said they have withdrawn all cooperation with University management.  

“The student Guild will, for as long as all students are not studying or being instructed by lecturers in all academic activities that they normally have to be instructed in, will not deal with management in any matter, including but not limited to, not participating or organizing the forthcoming Guild Government elections,” he said.

Adding that, “The Student's Guild also informs all Makerereans that, if the strike has not been permanently called off, a students' General Assembly shall be held on Wednesday 6th February at Makerere University freedom square starting 10am.”

He said it is at the General Assembly that students will determine their next course of action in the struggle to ensure they are taught. Makerere Vice Chancellor, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe had in a previous interview appealed to students to stay away from the on-going staff strike and let management resolve the standoff.

Prof. Nawangwe observed that Makerere students had already earned themselves a reputation and advised that engaging in a strike to support lecturers would further taint their "good name." 

"Students please keep out of this. Let us resolve this matter. A lot of your colleagues are being taught, a few of you are not being taught but we are handling it. If you choose to blindly follow agitation, which we believe is being done for selfish interests, and then you are shooting yourselves in the foot," Nawangwe told URN in a phone interview.

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