Makerere vote to phase out meals, internship allowances

Makerere vote to phase out meals, internship allowances

Makerere University authorities have unanimously agreed stop providing meals in the halls of residence effective June this year.

This was decided during a council meeting where officials discussed a survey report presented conducted among students and unanimously agreed to stop providing meals to students in university’s Halls of residents.

The university has providing meals to about 2,000 government resident students and other 4,000 non-residents.

While speaking to the media after the meeting, Mr Cyriaco Kabagambe, the Dean of Students at Makerere said, over 50 percent of students recommended that the university gives them money to buy themselves food.

However, many government students say the move is uncalculated as many are likely to starve given the little money allocated to each student on a daily.

Government provides Shs4, 000 per day to each student for meals of which the university and private students agree to be insufficient given the price hikes of food and others materials.

In 2014, Makerere University Council outsourced catering services to provide meals to students on its behalf however; the private companies have decried the insufficient funds given to them forcing the university to phase out the service.  The contracted private companies will have their companies expire by June this year.

According to Mr Kabagambe, the contracts for the meal providers are ending by June this year and that the university will not renew their contracts under the current arrangement.

The university has been paying money directly to the companies to provide food to government sponsored students and hall residents since 2014.

The Council decision angered many government students who claim not to be consulted in the survey while other threatened to strike.

However, Prof Barnabas Nawangwe the university Vice Chancellor said advised the aggrieved student to petition council or collect 50% signatures for the decision to be lifted.

“The beneficiaries were consulted. The majority preferred to be given their money. What other consultation was necessary? Threats of bloody strikes are old fashioned. Makerere has gone beyond that and the gallant Makerereans want to move their university higher. If anybody is aggrieved, let them appeal to Council by collecting signatures of at least 50% of the beneficiaries,” he said.

The university also phased out the internship allowance programme, all student including those on government are to receive to receive their allowances from their sponsors starting.

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