Makerere University Guild President Roy Semboga has accused Makerere University Academic Staff Association [MUASA] of inciting students to stage a riot this week.
The students went on strike on Tuesday in solidarity with the lecturers who laid down their tools last week, leading to the closure of the university.
“Some members of the Makerere University administration and MUASA have mastered the art of inciting students,” Semboga said on Thursday while appearing on NBS TV.
He said those behind inciting students wanted more pressure mounted on the administration so that money is released soon.
According to him, three-quarters of arrested “students” turned out to be non-students with gowns, most from surrounding slums like Katanga.
“I agree that a commission of inquiry should be set up but that should happen during holidays. Classes should resume. Many students had paid 100% of the tuition. That’s where the anger comes from.”
He said the semester started two weeks late and with the current closure, it might end up being pushed into the next semester.
“Currently, there’s no system to hold absentee lecturers accountable. There are a lot of underused resources i.e land.”
On the other hand, Prof. Godfrey Jacob, the Head Welfare MUASA, insisted the allowance they are fighting for is not for one day.
“It is an amalgamation of allowances. To say we are fighting war which is not justifiable is wrong.”
Jacob said it was not true that MUASA incited students to strike in a bid to further pressurise the administration.
“We are demanding for 10 months of unpaid incentives. 10 months. There is poor communication from Makerere University administration. We were never even told about plans to clear one month’s arrears.”
Jacob concurred with Prof. Tanga Odoi noting that President Museveni’s decision to close Makerere University was the best move.
He said Makerere University’s perennial problems are more than lecturers’ pay.
“Underfunding is one of the biggest problems. 19bn had been collected from tuition by 6th week but money just disappears. Makerere needs to be restructured.”
He said there are people around Wandegeya with these red gowns and that goons take the opportunity to loot.