First Lady Janet Kataaha Museveni reportedly told striking Public Universities Non-Teaching Staff that she would “shoot herself dead” if she failed to pay their salary arrears by October this year.
This was revealed on Wednesday by a Public Universities non-teaching staff executive (PUNTISEF) member during the General Assembly held at Makerere university.
On Monday, Makerere students raided the office of the First Lady also education minister protesting the closure of the university.
On Tuesday, the First Lady and President Yoweri Museveni met the striking staff at State House Entebbe promising to pay them by October.
“If I don’t pay your money, I will get a pistol and shoot myself-the First Lady said when we met her at State House,” Amos Ashaba Ddembe, a PUNTSEF committee member, is quoted by Uganda Radio Network as saying during a meeting at Makerere University today.
The meeting gave a brief of what transpired during yesterday’s meeting with President Yoweri Museveni at Entebbe State House.
“What we got from the July salary was a shock and we could not establish the difference,” Makerere University Senior Administrative staff Association (MASA) chairperson Fatumah Nakatudde told the assembly.
Ms. Ruth Iteu, a member of MASA and PUNTISEF member who also represents MASA on the staff tribunal, said for Makerere University Non-Teaching staff to be on the same level with other workers in public universities, they needed Shs5.5bn which was not budgeted for.
“President Museveni requested us to be peaceful so as to give us what we want,” she said.
President Museveni also directed Ministry of Finance to pay non-teaching staff at public universities and provide report on payroll saga.
The president also directed Ministry of Education to form a committee to deliver a report on single salary structure.
Makerere University acting Vice Chancellor Barnabas Nawangwe said the council has not yet agreed on the reopening date for new academic year despite directive by education minister Janet Museveni.
“University Council is having a meeting today, we shall communicate to public what we have agreed on,” Prof Nawangwe told NBS TV.
“We want to open the university when everyone is comfortable. But the university can’t take long without opening. If the university has no option, plan B has to be put in place as negotiations continue.”