Makerere University Academic Staff Association (MUASA) have warned that they will soon resume with their strike if the report by the university visitation committee appointed by President Museveni is not released soon.
The university was closed for two months following a strike by MUASA but on re-opening, President Museveni instituted a visitation committee headed by the late Dr.Abel Rwendeire to investigate issues that led to the strike and other problems affecting the university.
The committee was given three months to hand over its report to President Museveni. Addressing a news conference on Thursday at Makerere Guest House, MUASA chairperson Dr. Muhammad Kiggundu said they would be forced to resume with the strike if the outcomes of the commission are not public.
Dr.Kiggundu said that on many occasions, they have asked the Makerere university council to work on their issues but there efforts have not yielded any results after being referred to the outcome of the report.
“If the results are not released soon, the strike that led to closure and institution of the committee might happen again,”Dr.Kiggundu. “If problems are not solved, them what should we do? There is no shortcut to that.”
The MUASA boss said they are optimistic that when released, the report would solve problem facing universities in the country but said they are skeptic it might be tampered with to suit certain individuals’ benefits at the Ivory Tower.
“Since the chairperson of the committee died, the report might be changed and tuned to suit needs for some people but we need it released.” Dr.Kiggundu added, “Be it changed or not, let the results be known to the public. We should not keep people in the darkness claiming we are waiting for report for their issues to be addressed.”
He added that the issue of the lecturers’ incentive arrears that led to the November sit down strike has never been solved after ,The University Council, the highest decision making body at the institution asked them to wait for the outcome of the committee. The MUASA chairperson said that it is coming to a year and the visitation committee is yet to make its findings public.
The incentives that the Makerere university lecturers are demanding were introduced during the 2013/2014 academic year after teaching staff put down tools demanding a hundred per cent salary increment. These were meant to consolidate allowances that lecturers were earning from teaching evening programme students and eradicate indiscriminate distribution of the allowances among lecturers. The closure came after authorities running the country’s oldest university failed to break a deadlock over a strike by academic staff who are demanding enhanced pay and clearance of their pension’s arrears.