Government students resolve to strike over allowances

Makerere University Government sponsored students under their umbrella MUGOSA have anonymously resolved to strike on Monday (tomorrow, February 19, 2018) over their delayed allowances.

According to a thriller of What’sapp messages, students are massively campaigning for a strike demanding for their 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.”

“We are counting to reach Monday. 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,” read some of the What’sapp circulating messages

At Makerere and other public universities, students on government scholarship (non residents) are entitled to get allowances to cater for their meals and accommodation. Those who opt to take meals from campus get about Shs 630,000 while those who don’t take meals get Shs 770,000.

This allowance is normally given to students three weeks after the first semester has started and a fortnight after the second semester. However, this time, students say the money has taken close to a month now.

On Friday, students started a social media campaign dubbed #ReleaseLOAMakerere and demanded to know why their allowances for semester two September had delayed, yet the university bursar had already acknowledged the receipt of these funds from government 2 weeks 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’ incentive arrears at the School of Law and Journalism and communication department.

Speaking to the government students’ umbrella president Mr Patrick Sseremba said that they anonymously agreed to conduct a strike on Monday to demand for 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,” Patrick said.

Student say, earlier the university ask them to submit their Mobile Money numbers and other details, but they have not been paid, later, Mr Cyriaco Kabagambe, the Dean of Students communicated to that, they are to use the normal process of bank accounts not mobile money as earlier communicated 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 those only who have registered and others will be paid in subsequent batches as they finalise registration.

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