Work grounded to a halt at all Public Universities across the country today following a strike by non-teaching staff over a pay rise.
The Non-teaching staff laid down their tools this morning following their protracted negotiations with government for a pay rise in vain.
Our reporters visited various public universities across the country and found the offices under key and lock. A number of people who wanted services including students were stranded because the responsible officers stayed away from work.
In Makerere University, several students who showed up to pick their admission letters left empty handed as doors to various offices were closed. James Masaba, a newly admitted student to the course of Journalism and communication traveled from Mbale to pick his admission letter at Makerere University but left disappointed.
Masaba told URN that he struggled to raise money for transport to come and pick his admission letter but found the offices closed. According to Masaba, he will have to struggle to raise more money to collect the letter.
Bruce Twesigye, the Secretary of the Public Universities Non-Teaching Staff Forum says their strategy has worked. He says all the staff stayed at home as agreed. Twesigye says government must take responsibility for the mess.
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He they will not be intimidated into going back to work. He says any attempt by the government officials to intimidate the staff will be met with equal force;
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In Kyambogo University, the situation was not any different. All the offices remained closed, with the exception of that of the deputy vice chancellor in charge of finance and administration.
Maxson Okello Hnery, the Secretary National Union of Educational Institutions-Kyambogo branch says so far they are satisfied with the response from the staff from the university.
Prior to the onset of the strike, focus was on kyambogo University.
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He says the university is now hiring students and other mercenaries to open the doors and other facilities. Okello says they are determined to push the government until their demands are met;
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Lawrence Madete, the Public Relations Officer of Kyambogo University says it is unfortunate that the staff had to go on strike at this particular time.
He says the decision has affected the admission process because students cannot access their letters. He says though a few deans tried to issue out admission letters the process has been affected.
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In Mbarara University of Science and Technology, several students walked away when they found all the gates closed. Our reporter found police officers from Mbarara Central Police Station manning the university main entrance.
Anitah Namukasa, a third year student of computer science said she was surprised to find all the university gates closed and no explanation was given by the administration on what was going on.
Charles Kakuru, the chairperson MUST workers Union told journalist this morning that they agreed with management to communicate to the students of their industrial action so as not to take them by surprise.