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Mbarara University students protest poor living conditions

Students display placards during protest. URN photo

Mbarara, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Students of Mbarara University of Science and Technology-MUST have protested the poor living conditions at the University.

The students say the current situation at the University is worrying and needs serious tackle.

The over 10,000 students from both the Main campus and Kihumuro say they chose to protest after the administration failed to respond to their issues despite several communications.

They also say that the University demands that every student pays functional fees before registering for any academic year that includes the Guild fee, noting that despite paying, the students welfare has remained poor since the Guild can’t do any activities due to lack of funds.

Justus Mugenyi Kizito, the Guild President Mbarara University says the protest expresses how much the students are aggrieved, especially with the financial system which was developed by the government since the outbreak of Covid-19 noting that the University treasury was stopped from managing the funds.

He says the system allows money paid to the University to go to Uganda Revenue Authority and then to the Consolidated Fund (National Treasury) and the university only makes requisition of funds, which has led to failure of the daily running of the campus.

He says the health of the students is worrying to the extent that the university clinics don’t have drugs.

He says the students are protesting that the University has this year developed and started implementing a system managing the results which they say shouldn’t affect the results of the previous academic years.

Nelson Sabbath, the Guild Finance Minister says the hygiene at the University is wanting noting that the toilets are stinking and the washrooms are non-functional.

James Mugabe, a student from Kihumuro Campus says the University stopped them from cooking within the hostel noting that they are starving, forcing them to resort to eating from the school canteen only.

Among other issues, the students say the university administration has failed to provide and repair the dysfunctional sockets in lecture rooms, provide functional WI-FI, and allowing the fresher’s ball.

Jane Ndagiire, a student at the Kihumuro campus says they are tired of services monopoly in Kihumuro demanding that the administration allows other service providers who can offer quality services to the students

This is the second time the students of Mbarara University have protested in such a short time, with the last protest having happened at the start of this week.

The students from the Faculty of science were accusing the faculty heads of not giving them their school practice money.

Angella Nakato, the Mbarara University Public Relations Officer declined to give a comment saying that she was still in a meeting with the Vice-Chancellor.



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