Members of Parliament have called for more financial support for Makerere University for further development towards research and academic excellence.
Promoting the motion, Hon. Elijah Mushemeza (Ind., Sheema South), said that the University has stood the test of time, especially in the areas of teaching, research, publishing and outreach.
“This is seen in terms of the staff’s ability to design relevant programs and courses, teach, examine, and supervise student research,” he said.
He said that the University is on track to become a research-led institution with a full-fledged science and technology center by 2030.
H.E. Asuman Basalirwa (Jeema, Bugiri Township), who was Makerere University Guild President in 2000, said the University urgently needs financial support to “build for the future”.
“Makerere is bleeding.
When you go to Makerere now… look at my old hall, the great Lumumba empire… now it is a shell,” he said.
The Minister of State for Higher Education, John Chrysestom Muyingo, has called on Parliament to support the university as it repositions itself as a research-led institution.
Honorable Yusuf Nsibambi (FDC, Mawokota South), who lectured at Makerere Law School, called on leading university administrators, listening from the public gallery, to work to retain their senior teaching staff by ensuring good working conditions .
Meanwhile, some members denounced the shrinking space for freedom of expression at the university.
Honorable Anna Adeke (FDC, Soroti District) said that the institution’s 100th anniversary celebration should be used as a moment of reflection on the abuse of freedom of expression.
“Makerere, as a center of excellence, thrives on academic freedom of expression and in my opinion this space has been closed.
The government captured the spaces at Makerere University which is no longer a free expression area,” said Adeke, also a former union president there.
The University Council recently suspended the student union and indefinitely postponed elections for the president of the university’s 88th union after a student was killed in clashes involving some opposition political parties.
However, Deputy Spokesperson Thomas Tayebwa said student actions sometimes require decisions by University leaders that may not be popular.
“The moment the students start killing each other, you also realize that they are limiting themselves.
If you are a college manager, you need to take action, they may not be popular,” Tayebwa said.
In the motion, Parliament collectively honored Makerere for her contribution to the economic and social development and transformation of Uganda; thanked his former senior administrators for their excellent stewardship; and congratulated the student body and alumni for the achievement of 100 years of existence.