Parliament awaits the report by the committee on Education before it can take a deliberate on the crisis that could potentially result into a staff strike at Mbarara University of Science and Technology (MUST), according to the youth member of parliament for Western Uganda, Mwine Mpaka.
Mpaka told SoftPower News that Parliament can not debate the stalemate at the university until the committee on Education has drafted a report.
Staff at MUST recently threatened to resume a strike in protest of office and resource mismanagement, and harassment of staff by the Vice Chancellor, Prof Celestino Obua and the University Secretary, Melchior Byaruhanga.
In May, staff at the university declared a strike, however, they would suspend it a week later. This was after they dialogue with legislators sitting on Parliamentary committee on Education an Sports who promised they would work on their grievances. The MPs had pleaded with the staff to allow for students to sit for their end-of-semester examinations.
“Yes we have seen constant strikes but as Parliament, we were advised to wait for a report from the committee of education and sports,” MP Mpaka said.
The aggrieved members of staff recently gave government a two-week ultimatum to resolve the issues at the institution. Failure to do so, they threatened to resume the strike.
However, Mpaka asked the staff members to remain patient as legislators are still on recess.
“We as Parliament we are now on recess, we are waiting to resume the fourth session. Until it resumes, we cannot debate anything. So, I am sure now that the budget has been read, we are yet to resume Parliament. This report will be brought to the floor and we shall debate it extensively”.
The youthful MP says MUST should not fall victim to what institutions like Makerere went through last year when there was an impasse between staff and the University Management.
“We don’t want it (MUST) to end up like what happened to Makerere”.
Mpaka gave assurance that the contentious issues at MUST will be resolved soon before students report back.
“When they (committee) bring this report, they will have facts as to why this university is being affected by strikes. What is the cause of these strikes? And we shall debate it as Parliament and come up with a lasting solution,” Mpaka added.