HOW IT HAPPENED: Makerere Students' Strike In pictures

try geneva;”>At an emergency Council meeting held on 31″ August 2006, drug Council agreed on the following in regard to the

payment of fees at Makerere University

i. Tuition and other university fees are due on the first day of the academic year. Privately sponsored

students who cannot pay full fees at the beginning of the academic year are required to pay at least 60%

of the tuition which is equivalent to 60% of the course load.

ii. A First year privately sponsored student who fails to pay all first semester fees in full by the end of the


second week ofthe beginning of an academic year shall forfeit his/her place in the university.

iii. A continuing privately sponsored student who shall not have paid fees by the end of the sixth week shall

be de-registered.

a. Student should complete paying all the university fees by the sixth week of a semester and be

registered then.

b. In case a student fails to raise enough money to pay for a full semester load, a student can

choose courses within the first six weeks and make payment for the courses load he/she can

afford and get registered.

c. The minimum course load to be permitted under this arrangement should be 60% of the total

credit units for that semester

d. A student will not be allowed to pay university fees and register after the end of the sixth week

of a semester

e. Only registered students will be allowed to use university facilities to attend lecturers, do course

work and sit for final examinations

In September 2012, the Vice Chancellor was instructed by University Council to implement this policy and

communication was made to the students. Students opposed it and consequently, I had a meeting with them.

During that meeting, they requested to postpone the implementation of the policy to the second semester. The

Vice Chancellor agreed to this request on the condition that they would comply in the second semester.

The University Council reluctantly agreed to postpone the policy and cautioned management to implement the

policy in the subsequent semester. The postponement of the policy impacted on the smooth running of the


In the course of this semester, the Academic Registrar issued a circular reminding the students to pay in

compliance with the policy by 8th March 2013. The students staged a demonstration contrary to their previous


They met with the Vice Chancellor on Monday 11th February 2013 who requested them to put their

grievances in writing to be forwarded to the Chairman, University Council.

The students submitted their petition at 3.00 p.m. on the same day which was immediately forwarded to the

Chairman, Council. In their petition, students demanded that the policy be scraped but Council is unwilling to do

so because this will compromise the provision of quality services.

Why the policy is being implemented

1. The total wage bill of Makerere University is 5.4bn of which 2.4bn per month is contributed from

Internally Generated Funds (including money contributed by the privately sponsored students)

2. Makerere University is operating at less at 50% of the total staff establishment. We need the money to

require to pay for temporary and part time lecturers.

3. To pay for utilities (electricity and water) to the tune of 800m per month

4. Teaching materials and laboratory equipment

5. To pay for the bandwidth, computer software and maintenance

What happened during the course of the day (18/02/2013)?

1. Less than 100 students are involved in the demonstration. A number of these students have retakes;

have disciplinary cases to answer while some have used their tuition to engage in business like money


2. Students are turning up for lectures but are being chased out of class, as is the case in College of

Humanities and Social Sciences, College of Business and Management Sciences.

3. Classes are on going in a number of Colleges for example College of Health Sciences and College of

Design, Art and Technology,

4. Property has been destroyed within the University and some people have sustained injuries. The

University Management would like to caution students against acts of hooliganism, which hamper

operations in the University. The culprits of such behaviour will be dealt with accordingly

5. A number of students have been identified and have been summoned to meet the University

Disciplinary Committee.

Concluding remarks

The lecturers are ready to teach and students are advised to report to class. Students are hereby requested to

get in touch with their sponsors to pay all the tuition fees, ahead of the 8th March 2013 deadline so that the

University can run smoothly.

I would also like to emphasize that University Management is simply implementing Council policy and has not

increased tuition fees.

Yours Sincerely,


Prof. John Ddumba-Ssentamu

Vice Chancellor

11:40AM: Makerere University publicist Ritah Namisango speaks out on a string of strikes that have paralyzed the campus.

Some students have continued to strike against the Makerere University Fees Policy, which was approved by the University Council in the 2006/2007 academic year.

Makerere Councillor Bernad Luyiga talking to a police officer

In light of this, the Vice Chancellor, Professor John Ddumba Ssentamu together with his Management team are holding a meeting at reaching a position on this matter.

I have been informed that the University management will communicate their decision at 4:00pm, today, Monday 18th February 2013.

The Makerere University Fees Policy is not a new policy because it was approved by the University Council in the 2006/2007 academic year.

The University Council is the supreme governing body of the university, and the policy making organ of the University.

One of the students who were arrested during the demonstration

This academic year 2012/2013 (given the need to finance the University operations aimed at providing quality education and services to students), the University Council instructed the Vice Chancellor, Professor John Ddumba Ssentamu and the entire management team to implement the Makerere University Fees Payment policy.

Why? Students are required to pay at least 60% of the tuition by the sixth week to allow the University receive funds to provide quality education and services to students (including topping up the salaries of of members of staff per month, buy chemicals and equipment for the laboratories, provide stationery and all teaching materials, payment for utilities such as water and electricity among other demands.)

08:00 AM Makerere University students are on strike again.

The protest comes less than a week after they violently rejected a new tuition fees payment policy by the University administration that provides for payment of 60 percent of total dues in the first six weeks of the semester.

The students said the move was not only affordable but insensitive especially to those from poor backgrounds.

Makerere chose to stick to their grounds, saying whoever does not pay up by March 6, would miss exams.

Chimp Corp Michael Nteza, who is at the campus, says police have deployed heavily-armed anti-riot personnel to maintain law and order.

The situation remains tense as students plan to engage security forces in running battles.

Astudent being dragged by the policeman to the police truck

Students on Monday morning carried banners calling upon Vice Chancellor Prof. Ddumba-Ssentamu to resign for messing up the administration with the new tuition payment structure.

They further vowed to continue holding protests until the policy is dropped.

Makerere publicist Ritah Namisango is not readily available for comment but she last week told this website that the campus needs money to pay water and electricity bills, staff wages and other necessities to keep it running.

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