By Kabuye Ronald
Tempers rose as Makerere University Academic Staff Association MUASA general assembly convened to resolve whether to call off the strike or not flopped.
Business was not usual at the MUASA general assembly held today evening at the Makerere Main building as the chairperson of the association Dr. Muhammad Kiggundu Musoke was seen losing his cool and several time meeting going out his hand as the academia accused him of being arm twisted by trying to conceive them to vote in favor of calling off the strike.
At a certain point the members dissolved the meeting by walking out following the legal adviser of the association Prof. Jean Barya assertion that voting could be premature since council didn’t provide any complete proposal detailing how university will ably pay them and solve their welfare queries once and for all but he later he appealed to them to reconvene after futile attempts by their chairperson Kiggundu which the members agreed though they held onto Prof. Barya’s proposal not to take to vote.
At a certain point Kiggundu was provoked by Prof William Tayebwa when asked him whether he had a force behind him to force them vote yet it was not contained in the council’ communication to them which didn’t go down well with him to the extent of declaring that he is color free unlike him who is a movement cadre who often times speak to the president directly but only concerned about his work station.
Academia carried on their disagreement within the building and outside it to the extent of some wanting to exchange blows case in point was DR. Deus Kamunyu Muhwezi who wanted the strike sustained and Gilbert Gwomushale who argued that university has got no money and they can’t get water out of the stone thus a need to create a conducive environment to negotiate with government on their Salaries since they have a budget allocation in the 2017/2018 budget of up to 50 billion for their salary allocation.
Many accused Kiggundu and his colleague to having mobilized some lecturers to vote in favor of calling off the strike however for him he attributed the fracas and the claimsto some of the members who are harboring political ambitions within the executive.
He further revealed that as executive they will take the resolution to the council and then reconvene to find a way forward
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 June 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.