Phiona Atwebembere, another student, said they understand that concerns of the lecturers, since some of their parents teach in Makerere University.
IGP, Kale Kayihura speaking to Journalists at Makerere University this morning
Both parents and Makerere University students have called for a total overhaul of the institution following it closure on Tuesday evening. President Yoweri Museveni ordered the indefinite closure of Makerere University following failed negotiations between the University Council, Administration and striking academic staff.
The lecturers laid down their tools on October 26th to protest the failure by the university to pay their salary incentives for the last 8 months. URN spoke to some parents who turned up at Makerere University this morning to pick up their children following its closure. Both the parents and students described the closure of the university as very unfortunate and regrettable.
Derrick Ssenyonga, a former student of Makerere University who is awaiting graduation, saying the closure will affect his graduation, which was scheduled for January. "Now that Makerere is closed, can we find a permanent solution to its woes? Is it administration, government or students? If it is students and tuition increment is the solution, implement it now. It's time to revive our old glory," said Ssenyonga. Adding that, “I hope the old man with a hat will be done with watering his garden by January...because I don't want to study Journalism for 5 years!"
Agnes Tumushabe, another student and resident of Mary Stuart hall expressed her frustration by the closure of the university. "My aunt is in Nairobi my brother is in Mbarara, I have been calling my relatives but no phone is going through. Even the maid is not picking my calls. I don't know who really bewitched Makerere?" she said.
Aloysius Kwitonda, a lecturer at Makerere University who was seen helping her daughter to carry luggage from Mary Stuart hall said; "You see they are chasing us like chicken thieves. Here's my daughter." Some of the students were heard in the corridors chanting. "I have decided to leave MUK, no turning back no turning back"
Phiona Atwebembere, another student, said they understand that concerns of the lecturers, since some of their parents teach in Makerere University. "The problem is that the university is closed and I think our lecturers suffer a lot. Some of our parents are lecturers. My mother for example is a lecturer she has to pay for me here I understand her problem. The university should pay the university and government should work with university to find a lasting solution to the university," she said.
Adding that, "We have been disorganized some of us had programs we thought we would be done by Christmas. This means we are going to be away and our programs are going to be interfered with.” Owen Natukunda, the Guild Clerk and resident of Lumumba called for an overhaul of the university management. "The management of this university should change and we have thorough audits. There are many financial problems, even some of the workers, work because they know they are permanent and pensionable. Government should work on either contract for staff," he said.
He said there is need for government to be involved in the affairs of the university instead of rushing in whenever there is a problem. Addressing journalists at Makerere University this morning, Kale Kayihura, the Inspector General of Police, said the closure of the university was unfortunate. "It's unfortunate that government had to take this extreme measure because there was no option since the lecturers had refused to teach," Kayihura said.
Adding that"The business of the University is to teach and to learn then if that doesn't happen, what do you expect?". Kayihura acknowledged that there are pending issues that government hopes to handle during the period under which the university will be closed. "This time will give government and administration chance to find solutions to the problems of Makerere so that these strikes and riots do not continue in future," told URN this morning.