The Makerere University Academic Staff association (MUASA) has given the university council two weeks to harmonise their salaries for equal pay for equal qualification.

The salary harmonization committee has also been put on notice regarding the same.

According to the chairperson of the association, Dr Muhammad Kigundu unlike other public Universities where a person with a master’s degree qualifies to be a lecturer, at Makerere only PhD holders qualify to be lecturers yet they all get similar salaries.

However, the chairperson of the harmonization committee Thomas Tayebwa has asked MUASA to give them more time and stop issuing threats.

He says they have already written to the National council for higher Education and once they receive a response they will get back to the lecturers.

Meanwhile, students of Muteesa I Royal College University Bukeesa Campus in Mengo have staged a strike to protest the failure by the administration to provide them essential services. The students rampaged this morning and started pelting their lecture rooms.

They also lit fire on the university compound using logs and used vehicle tires. They displayed placards describing the unfavorable learning conditions at the university.

This comes few days after students at the University were left stranded when their lecturers  went on a sit down strike over pay.

The lecturers, who are demanding salary arrears of four months, accuse the university administration of mistreating staff in several other ways such as improper termination, poor sanitation at the university, lack of teaching materials and disrespect.

They have also vowed not to return to work until the Vice Chancellor (VC), Dr Arthur Sserwanga, whom they accuse of orchestrating the problems at the institution, resigns.

“Vice chancellor we need you here,” read one of the placards. “Peaceful demonstration: We need lecturers, practical materials and wifi,” read another. “Poor Sanitation,” screamed another. The students tucked away the placards immediately police arrived at the university campus.

Frank Sendyewa, a first student of Bachelors in Accounting and Finance, said their strike was triggered by numerous grievances. “We have not been studying since the semester began, our lecturers have been on strike because of salary arrears,” said Sendyewa.

Some of the students were overheard behind the lecture rooms, saying they need better sanitation, practical lessons for students pursuing scientific courses like Engineering, Tourism and Hotel Management and Mass Communication among others.

The kingdom minister for information, Mr. Noah Kiyimba, said the university council is currently engaged in meetings with staff and students to solve the impasse.

“The university council convened and the outcomes will be communicated. Students need to stay calm. Challenges tend to hit institutions during infancy but all will be sorted, if claims are true,” Mr. Kiyimba said.

Muteesa I Royal University was accredited by the Uganda National Council for Higher Education in 2007.

Dr Sserwanga is the fourth vice chancellor after Professor Munnakukaama, Professor Elisha Ssemakula and Professor Kigongo Bukenya.

Dr Sserwanga was appointed in September 2014.