MAK Drops Staff Incentive Arrears From Budget

2030 Views Kampala, Uganda

In short
Makerere lecturers will have to wait a little longer to have their incentive arrears paid because they are not catered for in the 2017/2018 university budget.

Makerere lecturers will have to wait a little longer to have their incentive arrears paid because they are not catered for in the 2017/2018 university budget.  

Lecturers demand over 30 billion shillings that accrued from unpaid incentive arrears dating back to February 2016. In the 2017/2018 budget draft overview seen by URN, a total of 71.9 billion shillings remains under unfunded domestic arrears as Makerere University outstanding obligations. 

Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe, the University Deputy Vice Chancellor in charge of Finance and Administration, told URN that the incentive had been suspended pending Visitation Committee recommendations.

"The incentive has been suspended pending visitation committee recommendations. Legally it cannot be reflected in the annual budget. Depending on the recommendation of the visitation committee, an appropriate decision will be made," Prof. Nawangwe said.
The Visitation Committee was set up in November last year to probe into Makerere's finances and causes of strikes. President Yoweri Museveni set up the committee led by former minister Dr Abel Rwendeire, days after ordering the closure of the university amidst yet another strike by lecturers. 

Dr. Deus Kamunyu, the MUASA publicist however told URN that management consistently undermines the incentive and the reasons it was put in place. He said the conditions tagged to the incentive sustainability such as increase in the minimum number of teaching hours and abolition of all other 33 allowances that constitute extra load at academic units still stand.
Kamunyu said that the decision of collapsing all allowances into one called incentive had been ratified by the governing Council. He insists that the teaching staff are not aware of any other decision on the same by the same Council.  

"In light of the existing set of decisions on the matter of incentive, our arrears have accumulated to approximately 39.6 billion shillings. Management has so far paid only one month on all incentive arrears since the end of the strike and looking forward, we expect this to continue as scheduled," Dr. Kamunyu.
Kamunyu noted that while they have hopes in the decisions of the Visitation Committee, they were not aware of decisions that have been made which affect budgeting for their incentive. 

The university budget indicates that compared to the financial year 2016/2017, there has been substantial change in revenue of 2.3 billion shillings, a one percent decrease arising out of the reduction in internally generated revenue. This is tagged to the reduction in the number of students in the high fees paying colleges.

The 2017/18 budget over view reveals a total of 37,664 students at Makerere. These include; 6,296 government sponsored, 30,984 on private scheme and 384 on biological sponsorship.

Failure to pay incentive arrears was the main reason for sit-down strike in October last year that eventually led to the closure of the university on November 2. It was reopened on January 2, 2017. 


About the author

Davidson Ndyabahika
Davidson Ndyabahika is a Journalism major from Makerere University and is passionate about investigative and data journalism with special interest in feature story telling.

He has gone through digital and multi-media training both at Ultimate Multimedia Consult, and has attended Data Journalism Sessions at ACME to enrich his capacity in data journalism.

Davidson has previously freelanced with The Campus Times, The Observer, Chimp reports and URN. He is currently reporting under Education. He is also passionate about reporting on environment, health, crime and political satire writing.

Follow him on Twitter: @dndyaba