Parliament in a heated debate over Makerere University standoff
Legislators today afternoon held a sitting specifically to address issues concerning the standoff between the university administration and the student leadership. This has extended into the second week, polarizing affairs at the Ivory Tower. It has also been characterized by arrests, student dispersions, and some human rights violations that have led to widespread condemnation from society. Below is an excerpt of what various members of parliament mentioned over the matter.
Speaker Kadaga: “Before we proceed on this debate on the Makerere University strike, I want an assurance that the military is out of Makerere as the President ordered.”
Hon. Kivumbi: “Govt should clarify the President’s order for the military to withdraw. They might have withdrawn from the main campus, but majority of students stay outside campus in the hostels of residence, and that is where the brutality is continuing.”
Hon. Ibrahim Ssemujju: “We should not be crushing our children to finance a budget deficit at Makerere University. Instead of wasting Parliament’s time, we should be raising a supplementary budget to sort this sh4.6billion problem.”
Hon. Asuman Basalirwa: “Government should pay fully for the running costs of Makerere University, and stop making some students pay for their inability to fully fund Makerere.”
Ruhama County MP, Moses Mugabe Kahima: “Recently, I visited Muni University and found out that it has 339 students. So our parents& students have other options of 40 universities apart from Makerere University where they can afford the fees.”
Hon. Ibrahim Ssemujju: “We should not be crushing our children to finance a budget deficit at #Makerere. The 15% is collected from all students, would come to sh4.6 billion. For the next 5 yrs, sh30bn. We have just raised Presidential donations from 8 to 24 billion.”
Hon Winnie Kizza has asked the Minister of Education to provide an explanation to plenary of the whereabouts of Julius Kateregga, the Makerere University Guild President who went missing moments after appearing on NBS Television on Wednesday morning.
Hon. Kivumbi has asked parliament to pass a resolution to; 1. Ask Makerere University to revoke its decision of suspending students 2. The Vice-Chancellor steps aside for failure to manage the university 3. Review the financing models of public universities.
Hon. Abala David has condemned the brutality meted out on Makerere University students quoting Bible verse, Matthew 7:12 “..do to others what you would like them to do to you..” He suggests for the immediate suspension of the 15% tuition increment and for the extension of the exams period
Hon. Mpuuga Mathias ( MP Masaka Municipality) says that it is the role of the government to provide education to its citizens and that any monies paid by the students/parents to the public universities ought to be supplementary to government’s role