The government of Uganda has reportedly released the funds meant for allowances of Kyambogo University government sponsored-student’s, following the protests by students over the delay of their allowances, among other concerns.
According to Professor Eli Katunguka Rwakishaya, the Kyambogo University Vice Chancellor, the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development has released Shs1.34 billion to cater for among others upkeep and living out allowances of government-sponsored students.
“The government has released an additional expenditure limit amounting to Shs1.34 billion against the vote 304-Kyambogo University Non-wage recurrent budget to cater for among others upkeep and living out allowances” Prof Katunguka said.
Kyambogo University had previously communicated to the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development, the challenges brought in by #Covid-19, and requested for a supplementary budget of 1,694,402,000 shillings to cater for upkeep and living out allowances for 2,455 government-sponsored students this very semester.
The Vice Chancellor Katunguka revealed that, following this move, the university informed and requested the students to be calm until the university receives a response from the government.
Prof Katunguka, during the press briefing on Friday afternoon, revealed that all these challenges are as a result of the disruption by the outbreak of the Covid 19 and admission of another cohort of students, who were admitted in 2021/2022 academic year, caused the University to run for three semesters instead of two semesters.
He further said that the third admission caused financial constraints on the current budget including living out allowances for government-sponsored students.
During the financial year 2022/2023, the university budgeted for upkeep and living out allowances for government-sponsored students for the two semesters totaling to shillings 3,388,804,000 and this has since been paid out to all beneficiaries.
According to the Vice Chancellor, the university management, during the meeting held on Thursday 4th May, has agreed to utilize these funds to pay upkeep and living out allowances.
“The process of uploading warrants on the system and making arrangements to pay students have started, therefore, students are requested to remain calm as the process of remitting funds to their accounts progress” said the vice chancellor.
It should be noted that on 2nd May, Kyambogo university students spent the entire day in a protest which led police to use excessive force to stop them from demonstrating.
Student’s concerns leading to the strike include; delay of payment of upkeep and living out allowances of government-sponsored students for the financial year 2022/2023, delay in release of examination results, surcharge levy and delay payment of staff salaries.
Responding to the student’s concern of surcharge of Shs50,000, incurred after a period of eight weeks as per the university payment fees policy, Prof Katunguka explained that surcharge is not a compulsory charge and it can be avoided if student settles their fees obligation within the stipulated time.
According to the information obtained from the Academic Management Information System (ACMIS), 11,911 students, this is about 54 percent of the enrolled students have fully paid their fees and are registered on ACMIS, and they did not incur any surcharges because they paid according to the policy.
On the issue of delay in staff payments, the VC said that the government has affected payments on 3rd May, and all staff have received their salaries. He said that some allowances like top up and teaching claims are yet to be paid as soon as funds are available.
Professor Katunguka revealed that students are fronting these issues to fulfil their political agendas. He claims there are external political forces that are fueling students to demonstrate. According to him, when the current guild president was campaigning, his slogan was to remove surcharges, so he is now trying to prove to the electorate that he is advocating for them through organizing such protests.