By kabuye Ronald
Finally Makerere University Academic Staff Association has voted to suspend their sit down strike which has lasted for over a month.
This has been reached on in their emergency general assembly which convened this morning and by show of hands 81 lecturers voted in favor of suspending the strike while 56 wanted the strike sustained.
According to the chairperson MUASA Muhammad Kiggundu Musoke the resolution has been reached on to give room for negotiation and to create conducive environment for the visitation committee to do their work diligently so that makerere issues can be solved once and for all.
He also asserted that their only hope are now left in president Museveni and the visitation committee since university council and management has for long been disappointing them.
“From now the lecturers will go back to their work and we hope that the visitation committee will engage the academic staff and all relevant stake holders so that we have comprehensive solution to makerere problems.
We have suspended the strike in interest of the students, parents and the country at large cognizant of the economic hardships the country is facing and the public outcry from mulago and other hospitals where our students withdrew their services” said kiggundu.
Before putting to vote the issue, there was a heated debate amongst MUASA member as some were in support of suspending the strike reasoning it is the only way to redeem their image and that of the institution after being branded as greed and unprofessional people while others wanted the strike sustained on grounds that they have not achieved the objectives that led to the strike yet it is in the biting stage.
They added that suspending the strike will portray them as fools since in Uganda everything is achieved by defiance or resistance.
“we shall be extremely foolish to the public if we suspend the strike yet we have not achieved the objective, we shall debate and act in the interest of MUASA not the public.
We never closed the university neither did we appoint the visitation committee so are we prophets to know the negotiation will end in our favor?” question Dr. Kakumba Busingye.
The university council communicated to MUASA that their November salary and one month incentive out of the five undisputed month arrears shall be paid together immediately and the other 4 month arrear incentives be completed by April 2017.
The communication also showed that nine month arrears in incentive were reduced to five since incentives after June 2016 is still a matter for discussion since MUASA had rejected the 75% reduction and council has not pronounced itself to that effect.