Makerere University has been closed indefinitely after a council meeting on Wednesday resolved it could not meet the lecturers’ pay-rise demands. The lectures are demanding a 100% pay-rise.
The decision was announced by the chairman of the University Council Dr. Charles Wana Etyem after an emergency meeting. The meeting had been called to discuss the ongoing staff strike that has brought work at the university to a halt.
last Tuesday, Makerere staff under their umbrella body Makerere University Staff Association (MUASA) announced a resumption of their ‘gradual’ strike to demand a 100% increase in their salary, an action that has since paralyzed work at the institution.
With the closure, the council resolved to suspend all the university accounts and all lecturers with movable university property have been told to return it to the university principals.
The decision however will not affect the admissions. Students that were admitted by the university will continue to pick their admission forms but they will only pay once the university resumes operation.
As students prepared to sit their exams at the end of the University’s last semester, the lecturers threatened to lay down their tools if their demands were not met. They however called it off to allow students sit their exams.
In September 2011, the University was closed for two weeks after lecturers went on strike demanding for an increase in their pay cheques.
Makerere University was slated to open its academic year on Saturday.
Sources who attended the council meeting say the decision was arrived at yesterday after a meeting with the Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi and Jessica Alupo, the Education Minister, who told the council members that Government is not in position to increase the salaries of staff.
Among the decisions arrived at in the emergency meeting:
-No staff will be allowed to transact business on behalf of the university as long as the university remains closed.
– All halls of residence remain closed til the university is pronounced open.
– Payment of staff for this month is halted till the Ministry of Public Service and Council resolve on it.
– The University Council will communicate when they shall be ready to re-open the university for the academic year to start.
-The security department will remain open 24 hours.
-Contracted service providers such as those offering cleaning services, construction works will continue to work normally or as appropriate.
-The Makerere University Guest House and banks operating within the university will remain open.