MAK COUNCIL VOTES TO CLOSE GUILD CANTEEN AS PROF SARAH SSALI EYES ALFRED MASIKYE NAMOAH’S AR JOB
By Mulengera Reporters
Makerere University Council members at their recent meeting overwhelmingly voted to beautify the campus and make it more modern by closing down all restaurants and food kiosks inside campus. The Council vote followed a proposal by Council member Innocent Kihika who represents government on the Council. In his forcefully moved proposal, the vigorous Kihika (whose brother Oscar heads Legal Affairs in NRM) asserted that those kiosks and canteens were making the campus look shabby and untidy. He asserted this was unacceptable for a 21st century University.
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He suggested that Council passes a resolution banning such activities with immediate effect. In a meeting chaired by Council Head Lorna Magara, it was submitted that all food, snacks and refreshments-selling points be scrapped and forced out of the campus because they make it dirty and unhygienic.
Sources say it’s only the two student’s representatives (the Guild President and her vice) that opposed the proposal for being too elitist and anti-students. They were joined by Dr. Hellen Nkabala Nambalirwa who represents staff on the Council who’s Committee on Student’s Affairs she chairs too. Her outspokenness against the proposal earned Dr. Nkabala verbal reprimand by Innocent Kihika who went as far as describing her as unfit to chair such an important Council committee. Dr. Nkabala kept quiet and other members just looked in disbelief as the Chairperson allowed a fellow lady to be disparaged in such a manner.
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The ban on all manner of food vending, sources say, will also affect the guild canteen. The way forward is that the University will soon be setting up a student’s center which will be providing all manner of student-centered services including selling snacks, food and all manner of refreshments.
Sources say that trouble for such food vendors began sometime back when Council member Lorna Magara traveled to Complex Hall (near Main Gate) to check out something and found the place too littered, dirty and smelly. The toilets were equally in a mess and the entire blame went on the fact that the environment around Complex Hall (which offers both teaching and student accommodation services go on at the same time) has permitted a lot of food and refreshments vending within the designated kiosks and beyond.
Some of the people vending cheap food around campus come from outside and deliver the food on order for both students and staff. All this must now end as the students centers will cater for everything. The matter is almost feta accomplice because no student is likely to raise a finger leading or participating in any demonstration against the proposed phasing out of the guild canteen and all the other food and refreshments kiosks because the Makerere administrators of today have effectively cowed such rioters because whoever engages in such these days is quickly identified and crashed which comes by way of immediately suspending or even expelling such a student.
The truth is that Prof Barnabas Nawangwe, the current VC, has become too powerful no student or staff would like to antagonize management and face his wrath. He is vastly connected by members in Council and equally in government where Gen Yoweri and Janet Museveni have distinguished themselves as his most eloquent spokespersons and defenders. Deputy Speaker of Parliament Thormas Tayebwa is equally very defensive of the technology Professor from Busia.
But during the same Council meeting, Makerere Convocation Chairman Prof Odoi Tanga, who is also a big man in the ruling NRM party, vowed to cause chaos should anyone dare touch the NUEI/support staff restaurant business or even Guild Canteen which belongs to academic staff members uniting under MUASA whose platform the same man from Kisoko used to market and popularize himself nationally.
Those favoring the much-dreaded Innocent Kihika‘s very controversial proposal (about which DVC Prof Henry Arinaitwe has already written a very unambiguous circular) also made reference to the snacks, food and refreshments-related chaos that engulfed Makerere main campus during the most recent graduation ceremony in which both (line Minister) Janet and (Visitor) Yoweri Museveni virtually participated.
NEW ACADEMIC REGISTRAR:
In a related development, long serving member of both Makerere Council and Senate Dr. Sarah Ssali is menacingly looking at the position of Makerere Academic Registrar whose current occupant Alfred Masikye Namoah‘s term is soon coming to an end and can’t be renewed because he has exhausted his two terms as AR. Sources say that Dr. Sarah Ssali, a Gender Professor who has patiently grown through the ranks, stands a very high chance to become the next AR for Makerere University since many of the influential kingmakers are very okay and comfortable with her.
She is also formidable in her own right and it’s unlikely someone else will manage having better credentials than hers for the job. She has been Dean for the School of Gender and Women Studies. She also served as a member of the all-powerful Appointments Board which hires all high level staff for the University. The appointments board also has the last word on who gets promoted or not. (For comments on this story, get back to us on 0705579994 [whatsapp line], 0779411734 & 0200900416 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org).