The President of Uganda, Yoweri Museveni, last evening, November 1, 2016, moved and closed Makerere University, citing the need to guarantee safety of persons and property.
This move by the President follows the recent string of riots that have marred the most prestigious institution of learning not only in Uganda but in the region at large.
As a result, University property worth millions has gotten vandalized, lives are at great stake; moreover residents in the close neighborhood of the University campus suffer great loss of property as well – not to mention their business environment that gets inevitably eclipsed by the unrest which even includes running battles with the Police.
The spur of the students’ riots this time revolved about the ongoing sit-down strike of the University lecturers that have been at it with the administration, demanding payment of their overdue arrears. It is said that the money that the institution owes the professors is over 26 billion and it more has to do with University internal financial management inadequacies than it is a government problem. This, the intellectuals had vowed not put up with any longer, only for the students to heighten the quandary on account of their missed lectures.
It is not known when the University will be open again but it could be some time, as it is incumbent upon the government and the institution to come up with lasting solutions to the burgeoning spiral of problems that keep on affecting learning almost endlessly. These problems, pundits, argue could be both fiscal and administrative.