Mak Management Convenes Over Staff Pay

2012 Views Kampala, Uganda

In short
Members of Makerere University management are today sitting at the Senior Council Room in the Main Building to discuss the staff salary impasse.

Members of Makerere University management are today sitting at the Senior Council Room in the Main Building to discuss the staff salary impasse.

By the close of November yesterday, no single University staff had been paid. The outcome of the meeting will determine whether staff will get paid, and by extension, have the university re-opened.

Charles Barugahare, the University Secretary has been saying Makerere, which was closed indefinitely on November 1st, has no money to pay staff salaries for November and December. The University requires 12.7 billion shillings to pay its 3,533 staff for two months.
 
In a November 25 letter to all staff, the University Council Chairperson, Eng. Dr. Charles Wana-Etyem, stated that the institution has not been able to raise its 40 percent contribution to the wage bill to pay lecturers and other staffs.

Barugahare, who is the chief accounting officer at Makerere, told URN last evening that the ministry of education has not addressed the issue of closure.
 
"We wrote to the ministry seeking guidance regarding the matter asking how we would be able to raise top-ups for staff salaries when we are not generating revenue. It is unfortunate that in their response to us, they never addressed the issue raised but insisted that we process the November salary," Barugahare.

Barugahare told URN that when the University wrote to government, it's response was that they were not to remit other monies to the university which meant that Makerere had a deficit they could not meet without the Internally Generated Funds (IGFs).
 
He however said the university management will convene today to discuss the matter.
 
Barugahare adds that the 40% University contribution is from the Non Tax Revenues or the internally generated funds which include fees paid by students and ground rent from some of the commercial units.

President Yoweri Museveni closed Makerere a month ago today, after failed negotiations between the University Council, management and the lecturers who were demanding payment of their eight-month salary incentives amounting to 28 billion Shillings. The payment arises out of overtime commitments in teaching evening and weekend classes. 

Prior to the closure, students had joined the strike demanding that their lecturers return to class and teach. Cars were vandalized, property damaged and looted and students arrested in the ensuing scuffle. 

President Museveni stated that he was closing the university in order to guarantee "safety of persons and property."

Members of Makerere University Academic Staff Association (Muasa) refuted claims that the University has no money to pay salaries saying Makerere had in excess of 16 billion on its accounts as of the end of October 2016.

Prior to the University's closure, during the Muasa Emergency General Assembly which members of Management and Council were invited to, the University Bursar Augustine Tamale, said that the funds that students had paid in the run up to the 12th week had already been earmarked for salary top-up for this second quarter.
 
The University management members in attendance defended this decision as a matter of responsible prioritising the implicit reason being salary takes priority over incentives.
 
Dr. James Ocita, a research fellow at Makerere Institute of Social Research (MISR) told URN that Muasa members are not ready to allow Management and Council to use them in their game with Government.
 
"The refusal to pay salaries takes the intransigence of Management and Council to another level. In the face of the technical guidance from the relevant government ministries, Management and Council are setting the University up to incur further loss," says Ocita.
 
A section of Members of Parliament have started a fundraising drive, looking for Shillings 30 billion to clear the salary incentives. The move is spearheaded by Gerald Karuhanga, the Ntungamo Municipality Member of Parliament and National Female Youth Member of Parliament, Ann Adeke Ebaju.
 

 

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