There is uncertainty at Makerere University as government-sponsored students are yet to know how much money they will be paid for meals.
The university will on Saturday open for the first year students and a week later for the continuing students.
Last week, the dean of students, Cyriaco Kabagambe issued a statement, saying all government sponsored students will be paid food allowances at the start of the semester.
For first-year government-sponsored students, Kabagambe said they will be provided with meals for the first two weeks as the university process their food allowance.
“Four food service providers will be stationed at Africa Hall, Mary Stuart Hall, Nsibirwa Hall and University Hall. Students are free to buy food at any of the service providers,” Kabagambe said in the July 23rd letter.
“Students are advised to use their food allowances carefully. Those who wish may negotiate with the service providers and pay for their meals upfront or in advance. The menu will contain a wide range of food items from which students can make their choice. Carefully study the menu and price options before making the choice,” Kabagambe notes.
However, Kabagambe does not clearly state how much money students will be paid as food allowance, creating confusion among the students.
The university management in March this year announced that it would stop feeding government sponsored students and instead pay them food allowances. The university said providing meals was costly.
Over 6,000 government sponsored students are studying at Makerere and about 2,000 of these students are residing in university halls where they have been getting meals.
The university management in April said it would pay each student 4,500 per day for meals but students rejected the amount, saying it's inadequate.
The university appeared before parliament committee on Education, which also shared similar feelings with the students.
Papa Were Salim, the Guild President, says that when they appeared before the committee, they proposed to be given 12,000 shillings.
Were says that for the past months, the university has not been clear on the amount of money they will be give the students.
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The parliament education committee was supposed to hold a final meeting to resolve on the amount of money, but Were says that the meeting flopped after officials from the education and finance ministries failed to turn up.
Were says there is confusion on how much the students will be paid for meals.
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Kabagambe declined a request for an interview on the matter. “I think my circular is very clear,” he said.