Mbarara University of Science and Technology (MUST) is one of the tertiary institutions that coomunicated that they would start conducting online lectures and 15th February had been slated for the start of the first semester of the 2020/2021 academic year.
This didn’t go as planned as lecturers under their shared body of Mbarara University of Science and Technology Academic Staff Association (MUSTASA) merged with other lecturers from other public universities on a hands down strike demanding for a pay rise as promised by the president in 2019.
Four days later, the University Vice Chancellor Prof Celestino Obua, when addressing the media cautioned whoever joined the strike and said that he won’t tolerate it as it is unfair to stop lecturing since the same lecturers have been home for a year receiving salaries from government.
This forced the MUSTASA family into an executive meeting with Dr. Warren Naamara, the chairperson MUST council which was held ON Friday 19th, February and among the resolutions the lecturers said that the strike will remain until the concerns raised by FASPU are addressed and worked upon.
The meeting further resolved the following:
- The “disease” that led to the current industrial action must be communicated clearly and understood by all stake holders.
- The approach of issuing threats, such as those seen on various social media platforms, by some vice chancellors regarding the strike “Unstrategic”.
- Government’s commitment to enhance salaries of staff in all public universities should be recognized and commended.
- The chair MUST Council would engage with chairpersons of other councils of public universities and subsequently cause a meeting with FASPU to deliberate on a solution to the current strike.
- MUSTASA Executives should continue to engage council in all matters that affect the University.
The fate of when these lecturers will start teaching is still uncertain as the University timetable still proceeds with Mid-Semester exams coming up in mid-March.
“When I came to University, I thought only students are the ones that strike but I’ve been surprised that lecturers do this too not knowing that it is our time and money they waste,” said Ayebare Jonan, one of the frustrated freshmen at the institution.
We shall keep you informed in case of any new progress.