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Muteesa 1 Royal University Reopens after Violent Strike

Prof. Arthur Sserwanga, the embattled University Vice Chancellor has dismissed some of the allegations leveled against him by the students, saying they are institutional problems, which he found there
Prof Arthur Sserwanga the Muteesa 1 Royal university Vice Chancellor

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The main campus of Muteesa 1 Royal University at Kirumba in Masaka has reopened after being closed for several days following a violent student's strike. Police closed the university on August 26th following riots by students over unfavorable conditions.

The strike coincided with a crisis meeting that was convened by Dr. Frank Sebbowa, the Muteesa 1 Royal University Council chairman to discuss the student's concerns. Justice Julia Ssebutinde, the newly appointed Chancellor who took off over from the Kabaka, Ronald Muwenda Mutebi was also in attendance.

The students stormed the council meeting armed with sticks and blocked the members from leaving. They threatened to lynch the council officials for alleged failure to sack the vice chancellor, Prof. Arthur Sserwanga. They accused Prof Sserwanga of incompetence and failure to effectively manage the university. 

Led by their Guild President, Jesse Lumu, the students also protested the poor sanitation at the campus, lack of text books, dilapidated structures and nonpayment of their lecturers. Tension escalated when the students decided to eat the special meal that had been sourced from Hotel Brovad for the council members.

It took the intervention of police to evacuate the university officials and disperse the students and close the university. However, Dr. Kigongo Bukenya, the Deputy Vice Chancellor, Muteesa Royal 1 university, says they have decided to reopen the university to allow first year students to report. He says the rest of the students will report on Monday next week.

According to Dr. Kigongo, the university council decided to institute an adhoc committee, which has already started work to investigate the complaints of the students.

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The university council has also asked Dr. Kigongo to remain at the campus until all the issues of contention are resolved. Prof. Arthur Sserwanga, the embattled University Vice Chancellor has dismissed some of the allegations leveled against him by the students, saying they are institutional problems, which he found there. He cites the example of Asbestos sheets, which he found in place.

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Prof Sserwanga also defends his fat pay, saying he didn't set it. Some reports indicate that Prof. Sserwanga pockets Shillings 25 million each. However, Uganda Radio Network report couldn't independently verify the claims.

Prof. Sserwanga says those uncomfortable with his huge salary should ask the university council, which gave him the job to review it.

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Dr. Frank Ssebowa, the Muteesa 1 Royal University council chairman has not yet commented as he couldn't be reached by URN. Jessy Lumu, the Muteesa 1 Royal University Guild President hopes their issues are addressed immediately, adding that they will continue pushing for reforms.

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