By Our Reporter
Makerere University Vice Chancellor, Pro Barnabas Nawangwe has this Wednesday suspended the recently approved increments in the tuition fees to be paid by students on select programs pending further consultations by the Management.
The Vice Chancellor announced the resolution to suspend the proposed tuition fees regime following intense pressure mounted by students and their leaders.
On Monday, students went on strike opposing what they called ‘draconian’ policies including the new tuition policy and abolition of meals.
Management has also clarified that government sponsored students living in the halls of residence will continue to receive their meals. Prof Nawangwe said that the students will continue to receive their meals as Parliament recently recommended.
Student leaders and members of the University Management spent the entire Wednesday in a lengthy consultative meeting chaired by Guild Speaker, Isaac Kwagala, in an attempt to deliberate on the students’ grievances and resolve the impasse. It is during the discussion that the Guild leadership led by Were Salim gave Management an hour to consult the university Council on the issues of contention and get back to them on the way forward.
He said that Management would issue a circular containing the changes.
“As I told you, we are interested in improving the Management of the university and students. My pronouncement on improving the communication and interaction with the Guild is true,” the Vice Chancellor pleaded.
“The policy is suspended. You demanded a suspension and Council has agreed. I encourage you to explain the decision to your constituents and advise them to read for their exams so that there’s no necessity for extension of exams,” he added.
Regarding the issue of meals, Prof Nawangwe said that; “Parliament already instructed us to halt the decision. Parliament is above us. We are not implementing until Parliament either chooses to give us more money or otherwise.”
During the noisy meeting, students insisted that the deployed Police officers are withdrawn from the university premises. However, Police Chief Political Commissar, AIGP Asan Kasingye who was in attendance said such a decision could not be taken immediately, promising that he would brief the IGP.
“Now that you have resolved that this issue is resolved the way you have agreed, I am informing my boss immediately,” Kasingye told the student leaders.
“Yes, the students want the Police out of the university but let us make sure nobody takes advantage of that to cause insecurity, because we will be the first people you will call when anything happens,” he added.