Government-sponsored students at Makerere University are demanding their allowances be paid before the closure of the semester.
The students say that it is a few weeks to the end of the semester but they are yet to receive part of their allowances. Some of the students have already received part of their living out allowances and they are only waiting for the remaining funds.
Government-sponsored students who reside outside the university receive at least 760,000 Shillings every semester as a living-out allowance to cover the cost of their accommodation and meals. Those those staying in halls of residence only receive a food allowance amounting to 530,000 Shillings per semester, but placements in halls are prioritized for science students.
Joseph Oloya, a fourth-year student pursuing a degree in Land Economics says he only received half of the money and is supposed to receive 380,000 Shillings.
Oloya who was admitted to Makerere via the National merit provision explains that when the allowances are not paid on time, he struggles to make ends meet.
“It really affects us, mostly because of the economic situation, expenses are really high, you are forced to ask for assistance from home, so it is quite sad,” laments Oloya.
Yusuf Wayidembe, the current President of Government Students at Makerere says that the students have been engaging the University bursar about the delayed release of their funds, but they were told to wait until August.
In a letter dated July 20, 2022 signed by the Acting Makerere University Bursar Lubowa Ssebina Gyaviira, addressed to Makerere University Government-sponsored students that URN has seen, students will be paid not later than 5th August 2022.
“The Heads of the Administrative Unit and Principals (Sub-Accounting Officer) received expenditure guidelines and allocations. Each sub-accounting officer is expected to propose a warrant for his/her Unit/College which is expected to be completed by tomorrow Thursday 21st July 2022,” the letter reads in part.
“Given the new changes in the payment system (IFMS) and consequent circumstances. We expect that wiring of funds and payments to the subvention account of the University will be completed by end of Friday 29th July 2022, and thereafter payments into individual students’ accounts are expected not later than Friday 5th August 2022,” reads part of the letter.