Makerere govt students threaten strike over delayed allowances

Police officers confront Makerere University students during a past strike. File photo.

KAMPALA–Makerere University government sponsored students under their umbrella MUGOSA have anonymously resolved to strike tomorrow (Monday) over their delayed allowances.

“We are tired; I call upon all Gavo (government) students to join in a reminder voice we are to throw to the admins [administration] about LOA. LOA fuming Monday,” read a WhatsApp that was sent to MUGOSA members that PML Daily has seen.

“We want money as soon as it clocks Monday. We don’t want stories of what manya incentives of evening lecturers. What we want is money tomorrow,” the message read.

At Makerere and other public universities, students on government scholarship (non residents) are entitled to allowances to cater for their meals and accommodation. Those who opt to take meals from campus get about Shs600,000 while those who don’t take meals get Shs770,000.

This allowance is normally given to students three weeks after the commencement of the first semester and a fortnight after the second semester. However, this time round, it is over a month into the semester and students have not got their money.

On Friday, students started a social media campaign dubbed ReleaseLOAMakerere and demanded to know why their allowances had delayed, yet the university bursar had already acknowledged receipt of these funds from government a fortnight ago.

The social media campaign was fuelled by media reports that the University management during their financial meeting on Tuesday last week had resolved to use government students’ allowances to clear striking lecturers’ arrears at the School of Law and Journalism and communication department.

Speaking to PML Daily, MUGOSA president Patrick Sseremba said they anonymously agreed to conduct a strike on Monday to demand their delayed allowances.

“I wish to inform the management that they are dealing with mature people who are desperate and volatile. Any rogue decision they might arrive at will be dealt with consequences,” Sseremba said.

Students had earlier been told that they will be paid through Mobile Money and were asked to submit their mobile money accounts.

Cyriaco Kabagambe, the Dean of Students, however, came out and clarified that the students will receive the money through their banks as has been the case because of the technicalities involved in new system.

While responding to angry students’ social media comments on Friday 16, February, the Dean of Students said he had requested all wardens to inform students in the respective halls that the first batch of LOA funds is ready for payment by Monday through their bank accounts.

He, however, added that payment will be made to only those who have registered and others will be paid in subsequent batches as they finalise registration.



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