Makerere Abandons Mobile Money Over Taxes

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Makerere University has abandoned its plans of paying student allowances through mobile money, according to the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe.

“We tried it out last semester and you remember students opposed it. So we will not attempt again. We cannot go in that area. Even you can see the taxes,” Prof. Nawangwe said.

Government sponsored students staying off campus receive Shillings 708,750 each semester as a living-out allowance to cover the cost of their accommodation and meals.

Shillings 127,500 is meant for rent in four months, Shillings 21, 250 for Water and Electricity, Shillings 84, 000 transport excluding weekends and Shillings 476,000 for food.

In the previous semester, Cyriaco Kabagambe, the Makerere Dean of Students communicated to students indicting that they has changed from paying through their bank accounts to the E-wallet effective last semester.

He asked the students to submit their registered mobile money numbers to enable the university to process the allowances for the semester. However, the university suspended the program in February following complaints from some students that they didn’t have registered mobile money numbers.

The program was expected to become fully operational in the new semester that starts in August. But Prof. Nawangwe says they have no intentions of trying out the system again.

Stephen Katega, the acting Dean of Students, says are waiting for guidance from the bursar on how to proceed with the payment of the student’s allowances.

“Our role is to prepare lists of students who have submitted their phones and bank accounts and tell the bursar to pay. It is not our role know which method is okay for the university to pay,” Katega said.

The decision by Makerere University to stop paying student’s allowances through mobile money comes in the wake of the introduction of one percent tax on each mobile money transaction.

-URN
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