Education

Makerere ripe for takeover by gov’t, says Ofwono

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Mr Ofwono Opondo

Government spokesperson Ofwono Opondo says Makerere University is now ripe for takeover if it the current mess at the institution is to be ever get sorted.

“Now that Makerere University can’t manage itself, it is a candidate for receivership,” Opondo said while appearing on “NBS Frontline” programme Thursday evening.

He said there was a time when Makerere was under government 100%.

“Perhaps it is time we revisit this system of management. We need business mindsets.”

Opondo believes the future Makerere University leaders should have more than academic qualifications because the institution teaches statistics but doesn’t know how much it generates or the exact number of students.

“Why is it that Mbarara University isn’t going on strike for similar issues? There is something peculiar with Makerere.”

He added: “Makerere University is suffering from cumulative decay and a sense of entitlement. You can’t do as you wish.”

As for its closure, Opondo said President Museveni is meeting the academic staff, University Council and Ministry of Education officials to forge a way forward.

However, according to Prof Godfrey Agea, a member of Makerere University Academic Staff Association (MUASA), the issue that brought the strike is not salaries but incentives.

“We teach from 7AM to 10PM (weekdays), 8AM to 5PM (weekends). We don’t get any allowances for extra classes.”

He said Makerere University administration doesn’t know the exact number of students.

“When you ask, you get estimates. Makerere University staff are not a bunch of useless people. We are very useful people yet we have gone without incentive since February,” Prof Gea said.

He added: “We need an audit of how internally generated money Makerere University is spent. By the time the closure came about, the situation Makerere University had become political. And this posed a danger. Makerere University is surrounded by slums from where non-students posing as students come from and take part in strikes.”

Prof Agea said the current struggles started way back in 2011. The problem to this day is lack of communication from management.

“We want a commission of inquiry. We don’t need to hurry to reopen Makerere University. Government should take over total wage bill. We want a commission of inquiry. We don’t need to hurry to reopen Makerere University. Government should take over total wage bill”

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