KAMPALA – Makerere University Guild President Julius Kateregga has accused NRM legislators of ignoring the views of students in approving the implementation of the 15% tuition increment policy.
On Monday, the NRM parliamentary caucus chaired by President Yoweri Museveni okayed the implementation of the fees policy despite the fact it has caused a two-week strike at the university. The policy is awaiting approval by Parliament.
On Wednesday, Mr Kateregga insisted that if the students are not listened to, implementation of the policy may be difficult.
“We still insist that we should be listened to because these demands don’t come from us as individuals. We’re determined to engage more, including with the NRM Caucus, if we have access to them. This particular decision is very disconnected from what is happening at the campus,” said Mr Kateregga.
Last week, the University Council met the President at State House Entebbe where it was resolved that the fees policy be maintained on top of revising the fees in future to cater for the rising cost of living.
But Mr Kateregga said such engagements without students’ input are bound to fail.
“We’ve been waiting for Parliament to pronounce themselves on this matter, I’m very confident that if they don’t offer a solution, we shall go on with the impasse. We’re not ready to leave a university that generations to come won’t be able to afford,” he added.
Asked whether the students have ended their strike, he said: “If the people who brutalised students are brought to book and most of our demands are met, the impasse will be resolved.”
During the strike, the military raided the students’ halls of residence and brutalized students, including destroying their property. President Museveni has since condemned the move.
Mr Kateregga also said he is not sure whether students are ready for end of semester exams.
“We’ve been trying to get ourselves ready. I’ve gotten several students asking for an extension. The general feeling is that students aren’t fully ready for the exams,” he added.