BYIga Samuel Matovu
Tension is high at Mbarara University of Science and Technology-MUST following threats by Government sponsored students to stage a strike. There are 450 government sponsored students at Mbarara University of Science and Technology students. They accuse the finance ministry of delaying to release their living out allowances for this semester amounting to over 212m shillings.
Each student gets a living allowance of 468.000 shillings per semester for accommodation and meals. The students have given government one week to release their money or else they go on rampage. John Kiwanuka, a second year student says that the delay to release their allowances has affected his livelihood at campus.
Most students claim to be on the verge of being thrown out by their land Lords over rent. Denis Mugerwa, another student says that he now leaves the hostel as early as 5am in the morning before the land lord comes to demand for his money and returns home at midnight.
Usually, government sponsored students find their living out allowances on their bank accounts by the time they report for the start of each semester. Sheila Nduhukire, the MUST guild president says the plight of students is appalling to the extent that some of them have abandoned classes for casual work to look for survival.
Emmanuel Kyagaba, the dean of students, MUST says arrangements are in place to ensure that students get their money as soon as possible to prevent a strike.
While presiding over the 19th graduation for Mbarara University of science and technology, Jessica Alupo, the Education and sports minister commended the students for not engaging in strikes for several years, despite the fact that they are faced with various challenges.