Students went on a week-long strike in April 2016 in protest against the debt-ridden university’s controversial fee payment policy. Pun video below
Makerere has been demanding UGX21 billion (US$6.3 million) from about 45% of the 39,417 students currently enrolled.
Problems with tuition fee payment have placed the institution into debt and rendered it unable to meet financial obligations, especially to staff who have been demanding salary arrears.
The policy students were striking over in April, established in 2012, required students to pay at least 60% of their tuition fees by the sixth week of a semester, which allowed them to register, submit coursework and sit for exams.
But the policy provoked unrest every time the university tried to enforce it, and students then requested that all tuition fees rather be paid by the end of the twelfth week.
The government represented by Prime Minister Dr Ruhakana Rugunda and Inspector General of Police General Kale Kayihura convened a meeting with Makerere University Council Finance Committee Chair Thomas Tayebwa, Vice-chancellor Professor Ddumba Ssentamu and students leaders and resolved to shelve the policy.
Critics contend that government should not interfere in the running of universities if it does not provide them with alternative means to raise revenue to run their activities and pay salaries however, i find this lame. The same critics will dis government if it doesn’t intervene since this is a public institution.