Mbarara University students strike

Students at Mbarara University of Science and Technology (MUST) have paralyzed operations at the campus, abandoning studies and closing lecture rooms over living out allowances and a retake policy that requires students to pay Shs200, 000 for each paper repeated.

The government sponsored students accuse the University administration of
paying them little money as their living out allowances compared to other public universities an issue they claim has persisted since 2012.

“We are paid less money (compared to the amount paid to counterparts in other universities) and this has been the case for sometime. They keep lying to us that
the issue will be handled in the next financial year. If they do not have money let them complain to the government. Why is this problem at MUST and not elsewhere,” Mr Francis Amato Okoyo, the president of government sponsored students association at the university said.

“Government sponsored students are only paid shs468,000 as living out allowances. The money is meant to cater for meals and accommodation yet other universities pay students 700, 000. We cannot allow to be cheated anymore,” said Mr Okoyo.

Daily Monitor Online couldn’t immediately confirm this claim.

The students also want the university’s retake policy revised.
Mr Charles Obore, the university Guild President, said the students want two issues sorted.

“There are two particular issues that are disturbing students at the moment; living out allowances which are very small and cannot cater for a university student and retake policy of paying 200000 per paper,” said Mr Obore.

Mr Obore said that currently the university considers a dead year if a student re-takes more than two course units and doesn’t pay.
The demand
Students want their allowances increased from 468, 000 to 840, 000 and paid this semester. They also want a reduction in retake fees from Shs200, 000 per paper to at least Shs50, 000.
The University Vice Chancellor Prof Celestine Obua did not talk to either students or the media as he locked himself in his office and no other administrator was readily available for a comment.