Law students at Makerere University have threatened to sue the institution of higher learning for failure to fulfill its promise of offering education services to them for the past three weeks.
Since the suspension of their leaders by Prof.Nawangwe over three weeks ago, both the teaching and non -teaching staff at Makerere put down their tools until the suspensions are lifted.
In a press conference on Tuesday, the law students said the stalemate at the university is as a result of a difference of opinion on matters of law but noted it is affecting them badly.
“The University Council is put on notice that unless a resolution of this impasse is reached by close of business on Friday February,15 2019, the student community as a whole will file a representative suit against the university for breach of contract and violation of the right to education, leaving it upon the university to seek indemnification from the staff associations if they so wish, ”said Kenneth Kotura Kiapi, the law students president.
The law students said in the suit, they would be seeking for a monetary compensation in billions of shillings for the loss occasioned to them during the time the strike by lecturers went on.
“Once this action is filed, we will not be willing to withdraw it without a settlement that involves reasonable compensation. We therefore strongly impress upon you the gravity of this impending suit and the detrimental liability that will flow from it.”
Makerere University Vice Chancellor, Prof.Barnabas Nawangwe on Monday said he is not aware of the ongoing strike at the university despite a declaration by the staff to go full blast with their industrial action.
““This circular serves to inform all the stakeholders, particularly the members of staff and students, which Makerere University is open and will remain open for normal business. All staff, who are carrying on with their official business are encouraged to continue doing so without intimidation,”Prof.Nawangwe said on Monday.
However, the law students said it is wrong for the university administration to claim that lectures are ongoing within the entire university save for the School of Law.
They said the notion is false and borders on being divisive adding that the university is under a “de facto” shut down.
“Furthermore, the claim that students are the ones voluntarily boycotting class is equally false. These falsities, which have so far been believed by the general public, have largely contributed to the perpetuation of the present stalemate, to our detriment,”Kiapi said.
“The university is under a de facto shutdown and all claims that the situation is normal, circulating within the media, are absolutely untrue and possibly the product of a propaganda campaign.”
They said that of the 10 colleges at Makerere, only two(College of Health Sciences and the College of Engineering Art & Design) are currently having lectures, a thing they said confirms a partial shutdown of the university.
The law students however urged that the impasse between lecturers and the university management should be solved so that lectures resume at Makerere.