THE state minister for higher education, Dr. Chrysostom Muyingo, has clarified that Parliament on Thursday did not vote on suspending the Makerere University tuition fees increment, but referred the matter to its education committee for guidance.
“The matter was discussed on the floor of Parliament and it was agreed that the education committee looks into it and reports back to Parliament,” Dr. Muyingo yesterday explained in a phone conversation.
“It is not true that the 15% fees increment in Makerere was suspended by Parliament yesterday,” Muyingo clarified.
Parliament is expecting the education committee to report back to it in about three weeks.
“The education committee will study the matter and will later report to Parliament based on an informed position. As Government, we felt that the submission made by some opposition members of Parliament was wrapped up in many inaccuracies and misinformation,” he explained.
The minister was reacting to a New Vision story that stated that Parliament had suspended the 15% Makerere fees increment which has sparked off a strike and disrupted learning at the Institution.
“The reporters misconceived the matter. Some Opposition politicians tabled a motion to have the vice-chancellor suspended and the fees increment suspended. But, I stood up and made a counter submission, requesting that Parliament takes time to study the information tabled before it before they can hastily make a decision,” he explained.
“The status quo remains and Parliament will soon decide on the matter. Based on the decision Parliament makes, as Government, we will guide on how the matter can be handled at Makerere University.”
The contentious issues arise from the Makerere University Council’s decision in 2018, that all newly admitted students pay a 15% increment in the tuition in comparison to the old rate of payment.
The increment would be gradual, with the 15% increment to be implemented every year. Two academic years have already gone through this increment and it is only three academic years that are left on the phased increment.
The university students last week went on strike challenging the decision, which sparked off unrest at the country’s oldest public university.
MPs speak out
Masaka Municipality MP Mathias Mpuuga, who is the shadow minister of education and sports; read a petition to Parliament, requesting that the House directs the university management to rescind all suspensions, unconditionally lift the suspension of all students and direct the ministers of defense and internal affairs to withdraw military and Police from university hostels.
In the plea, the MPs also wanted the university to halt the 15% and any other fees increment until a sustainable solution is reached