By our Reporter.
Makerere University Business School (MUBS) student guild leaders have joined their Makerere University counterparts to reject the 15% tuition and functional fees increment.
Romulus Tusingwiire, the MUBS guild president, says government’s claim that it was unable to fully fund public universities leading up to the 15% fees increment is incomprehensible.
They also questioned the government’s interest in the tuition hike at both institutions, saying government has its priorities upside down. Tusingwiire argues that every day, they see the number of ministers, legislators and political positions multiplying.
He disclosed how a student at MUBS confided in him how his parents had advised him to apply for a dead year due to their inability to raise the required fees, saying many students are experiencing similar financial hardship.
Ezra Nuwenshaba, also a student at MUBS says students are disappointed by government’s support for the 15% tuition increment while ignoring excesses in public administration.
Nuwenshaba faulted government for spending colossal sums of money on public administration through creation of more districts, which he says has expanded the number of legislators and local government leaders thereby straining the available financial resources.
“As per now we are in over 100 districts, which are calling for more MPs and take up the positions and increasing the budgets and the burden of the government to pay them. I believe this is the reason as to why the government is squeezing every penny out of our parents to actually pay these people that they are bringing in these administrative positions,” Nuwenshaba argues.
The students also say they are at the best business school in the country but have got untapped potential by government. They argue that they can be better advisors compared to struggling artists like Butcherman and Catherine Kusasira, who President Museveni recently appointed as presidential advisors for Ghetto and Kampala affairs respectively.
Nuwenshaba says there is no reason why youth at university would oppose President Museveni’s government when they have subsidized and regulated fees.
Allan Kelly Tabura, another student says he sells liquors in a bar in Nakawa to raise tuition, which sometimes denied him sleep as he has to attend classes during day. Tabura says many of his colleagues at MUBS who go through the same hustle to pay fees and stay at school, which the government ought to be aware.
He however argues that government is focused on the 2021 election campaigns rather than directing finances to critical sectors such as education and health.
Doreen Asiimwe, the MUBS Guild Vice President faults government for failing to provide for its citizens and largely focusing on its survival.
Asiimwe is concerned about the huge number of political appointments including presidential advisors, RDCs and ministers who she says are draining the treasury and denying education sector the funds to function.
According to Asiimwe, most students especially girls at universities are turning into prostitution as a way of survival. “At MUBS we females form the largest percentage of students. Actually that is why you find the girl-students are now going to these very ministers that are chewing our money and they are becoming our sugar daddies because we can’t pay this tuition! How do you expect us to survive in this country?” she asked.
MUBS has over 20,000 students out of which the students’ guild leadership says only 9,500 students have fully completed their fees. The student leaders argue that majority of the first year students are affected. The student’s leadership has organised a car wash tuition campaign this Saturday at the intuition to raise finances to support those who will be remaining with fees balances by November 19, when they commence examinations.
Hashim Kabeera, a Bachelor of Business Statistics student says they have given the MUBS Council only next week to come up with a clear position indicating there will be no increment, failure of which he says they will embark on mobilizing other public universities in protest.