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Makerere University Staff Should Support their Demand for Salary Increment with Facts

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Prof. Venansius Baryamureeba

By Professor Venansius Baryamureeba
A Higher Education Expert and Former Vice Chancellor of Makerere University

On 13th August 2013 and 14th August 2013 I authored an article in Red Pepper and New Vision on Financing Makerere University. This was based on facts and in good faith. Thereafter some staff have tried to distort facts. So I am compelled to provide further factual information on Makerere University using my institutional memory and information available to me as a member of Senate for 12 years, a member of Council for 6 years, Dean for 8 years, and Vice Chancellor for 3 years. It is my duty as a Uganda and a Professor to provide researched information of public interest to the public. I appeal to my colleagues at Makerere University to take this in good faith otherwise why should universities exist?

The first thing to be noted is that Makerere University has at least 1,500 academic staff against a student population of not more than 35,000 translating into an average staff: student ratio of 1: 23. In science colleges the average staff: student ratio is about 1: 12 whereas in humanities the staff: student ratio is about 1: 25. As per the National Council for Higher Education this is a good staff: student ratio. Now staff establishments in Universities are based on student projections, say in the next five years. These in most cases are not realised. So it is misleading when someone determines the staffing levels of Makerere University using established positions in staff establishments.

The quality assurance policy of Makerere University requires every member of academic staff to teach a minimum of 12 contact hours per week as part of the monthly salary. Most courses at Makerere University have three contact hours and this would mean that per semester Makerere University runs 1,500 X (12/3) courses = 6,000 courses using only fulltime staff. But we all know that Makerere University has several part-time staff. The courses taught at Makerere University per semester are about 2,500. The actual figures can be got from the University timetable. So its clear that academic staff at Makerere University teach an average of less than 6 hours per week instead of the minimum of 12 hours.

So what do Makerere University staff do during official working hours if they are not able to teach the minimum load of 12 hours a week as part of their monthly salary? I will give you a few examples:

Staff in the School of law either operate law firms or work with law firms and on average earn UGX 6 million per month from legal services. As much as they have the liberty to engage in legal services beyond Makerere University, staff with the same qualifications working as Grade one Magistrates, working in the Directorate of Public Prosecution and with the Solicitor General to mention but a few are not allowed to engage in such yet they earn much less than what Makerere University pays teaching assistants and all these are in the same public service.

Staff in the College of Health Sciences in addition to providing health services at Mulago Hospital as part of their employment run hospitals, clinics either as owners or consultants from which each earns an average of UGX 6 million per month by just looking at consultation fees only. Just do a survey and find out who is running all these hospitals, clinics within a radius of 200 km from Kampala.

Staff in the College of Engineering, Design, Art and Technology are running consultancies. The most popular consultancy firm is Technology Consults where they earn not less than UGX 3 million per month.

The above trend is true for the rest of the University. In short academic staff in the University during the official working hours in addition to teaching, engage in other activities from which they generate additional income. These activities include but are not limited to part-time teaching, research, consultancies, projects, and services like legal services and medical (health) services. The income from these activities is not reflected on the payroll (monthly salary).

In addition, most colleges like College of Business and Management Sciences, School of Law, College of Computing and Information Sciences, College of Humanities and Social Sciences and College of Education and External Studies pay a monthly top where a Professor earns at least UGX 1 million per month from internally generated funds and this is not reflected on the pay roll (monthly salary).

Again the salary figures of a Professor earning UGX 3 million, Associate Professor UGX 2.9 million, Senior Lecturer UGX 2.4 million, Lecturer UGX 2.1 million, and Assistant Lecturer UGX 2 million at Makerere University are falsified to justify a salary increment. Let the Accounting Officer be challenged to provide the right figures. Today a Science Professor earns at least UGX 4 million on the University payroll and an Arts Professor earns at least UGX 3.5 million prolata.

In the Universities in Kenya, Rwanda, Botswana, Tanzania, South Africa etc that we have been comparing with Makerere University run a different salary model. All money earned by staff from other sources is declared to the University and becomes part of the University income and is integrated in the individual salaries of staff. This is not the case in Uganda. So really we should not compare apples with oranges. Further the GDP of these countries is different. We would rather come back to Uganda find out how much lecturers with master’s degrees in diploma awarding institutions earn compared to assistant lecturers at Makerere University, etc.

I will restate my position that the only staff at Makerere University that deserve an increment are the senior lecturers, associate professors and professors; the rest are earning enough as per the salaries in other related sectors in Uganda.

Lastly, let me provide a clarification on few issues that have been raised against me as a former Vice Chancellor of Makerere University. The audited books of accounts are there for everybody to see that during my term as Vice Chancellor we never posted any domestic arrears instead we reduced the domestic debt we found there. Before I left Makerere University in September 2012, I put it on record that Makerere University would be rated among the top five Universities in Africa by July 2013. So the recent ranking of Makerere University as the 4th in Africa did not come as a surprise. Remember that from September 2012 to June 2013 its just 10 months, so what contributed to the current ranking like research output in the last 10 months was already in the pipeline and with all due respect can not be credited to the Prof. Ddumba administration. I am looking forward to congratulating the Ddumba administration for their efforts in improving Makerere University ranking from January 2014 onwards. My starting UTAMU (Uganda Technology and Management University) a day after handing over as Vice Chancellor has nothing to do with Makerere University as an institution but has a lot to do with my ability to move on and never look back.

If Makerere University staff cannot find factual and believable data to support the salary increment then they should give up on their demand. Resorting to raising salaries using internally generated funds again is committing suicide.

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MTN Uganda reaches out to orphans in its Ramadan drive

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MTN Uganda together with Salaam TV delivered some of the donations to Oasis Orphanage in Lweza, along Entebbe Road.

By Our Reporter

MTN Uganda together with Salaam TV delivered some of the donations to Oasis Orphanage in Lweza, along Entebbe Road. The home takes care of children that have been orphaned, abandoned in hospitals, police stations, thrown away by their parents or guardians among others. The home has been running for 10 years now and has taken care of over 500 children.

The orphanage is one of the beneficiaries of the Ramadhan food and alms donation worth 100million shillings that will be distributed to the Muslim community by MTN Uganda in partnership with Salaam TV during this fasting period.

This support underscores the long standing relationship that the telecom giant has had with the Muslim community spanning several years. This year however is a different year as the fasting season has fallen at a time when the whole world is grappling with the COVID 19 pandemic which has paralysed livelihoods of many. It gets even harder for the orphanages that depend on donations since the COVID19 pandemic has devastated many of their would-be donors.

The food items that were donated include sugar, rice, maize flour, cooking oil, beans, wheat flour and bar soap for hand washing.

The proprietors of the orphanage thanked MTN Uganda and Salaam TV for their generosity noting the orphanage operates because of generous and kind organizations like these.

While handing over the donation, Ian Mugambe the High Value Marketing Manager at MTN Uganda expressed the company’s delight upon reaching out to the children in the home.

“We are delighted to donate to a home that has taken care of abandoned children who would otherwise have nowhere to stay. We dearly appreciate your efforts and hope that our package will go a long way to help during this time”, Mugambe said.

On behalf of the area Resident District Commissioner, Sejjengo Sulaiman, the Mayor Ndejje Division, received the donation as per the guidelines of the Government of Uganda on behalf of the Orphanage.

He thanked MTN Uganda and Salaam Foundation and in turn handed over the donation as received to the orphanage.

Similar food items will be distributed to the Rafic Children’s home in Nansana and other vulnerable Muslim communities especially in the areas of Kampala, Wakiso and Mukono district with the guidance of the National task force against COVID19.

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CoronaVirus Uganda

MTN customers contribute Ugx 21.9million to Red Cross to fight COVID-19

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By Our Reporter

Ugandans responded to a call by the Uganda Red Cross society and have contributed shs21.9million towards the society’s efforts in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

The contributions were made through a MoMoPay merchant code that MTN Uganda launched in April as one of the telecom company’s interventions in the fight against the deadly virus. Through the merchant code *165*3*191919# MTN customers are in position to make donations of any amount toward the efforts to combat COVID-19.

Robert Kwesiga, the General Secretary Uganda Red Cross Society (URCS) said at the launch of the Merchant code that the donations would be used to procure and provide essential food assistance to the most vulnerable households whose livelihoods, from their informal jobs, have been adversely affected by the partial lockdown instituted in response to COVID19 pandemic in Uganda. This is to complement government efforts.

Speaking after receiving the money from MTN Uganda on behalf of Red Cross, Dr. Josephine Okwera, the Director Health and Social Services at URCS was elated that Ugandans had responded positively to the call, but said the struggle is still on and needs more generous Ugandans to come on board.

“We would really like to thank the community for responding to our call. This money will go a long way in making the lives of some people easier during this hard time. But as you are all aware, the lockdown has been extended so we call upon more Ugandans to come on board so we can rescue those that are worst hit due to the lockdown,” Okwera said.

MTN Uganda’s Senior Manager corporate affairs and Public Relations, Ms. Rhona Arinaitwe reiterated the company’s commitment to stand together with Ugandans by doing everything it can to reduce the impact that covid19 is having on their lives. She committed that, “MTN Uganda will continue to look at ways of supporting our communities and government, to ensure that together, we do everything feasible to get through this difficult time.”

Arinaitwe further noted that the merchant code *165*3*191919# will remain open to the public who wish to donate towards the fight against the COVID19 pandemic. The money collected from the merchant code henceforth will be channeled to the National COVID19 Task Force to support their efforts in alleviating the devastating effects of the pandemic.

MTN Uganda, like other organisations responded to governments call to support her efforts in the COVID19 fight. MTN zero rated mobile money sending transactions of any amount, contributed shs290million to Uganda Red Cross society to support the society’s efforts, and contributed another shs220million to National Water to deliver water to water stressed communities in and around Kampala.

The telecom company also handed over three brand new pickup trucks to the COVID 19 task force as a response to the President’s call for cars.

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Local Business

I am attacking the mobile devices’ industry in Africa to begin a massive economic war in multiple sectors for Africa’s glory – Charles N Lambert

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By Reporter

Like President Museveni attacked Kabamba barracks to signal the end of the eruptive climate Uganda had witnessed 100 years prior, and began a 5 year bush war that ultimately led to peace and tranquillity, I am attacking the mobile devices’ industry in Africa($60 billion dollars capital flight channel) with disruptive commerce to begin a massive economic war in multiple sectors for Africa’s glory.

How long this war will last, I don’t know but seeing that hundreds of billions must be ploughed back, I have no idea but one thing I am confident of is that we will win this war and scare economic invaders from Africa for the next millennium.

Charles N Lambert

Leader, Africa’s first economic war.

BWS.

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Local Business

Cash Chat upgraded, to enable users earn from the platform

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Asher Namanya, the founder and developer of Cash Chat App

Asher Namanya, the founder and developer of Cash Chat

By Our Reporter

Cash Chat, an online platform facilitating social and financial transactions, has been updated and upgraded with the latest high value features for better user experience.

Through the Cash Chat app, users can transfer money, advertise products & services, chat with people, upload statuses and make voice and video calls.

Asher Namanya, founder of Cash Chat in a notice to subscribers of the mobile app advised them to download the upgraded app from Google Play Store.

The latest features added on the app include posting of videos on status, posting advert videos, swiping to reply messages, seeing advert views, sending out group invites and links among other notable features.

Namanya said the new updates will allow agents to advertise on behalf of companies; also, users will earn from the adverts.

“Business is now, more than ever, going online and we want to spearhead this transition,” he said.

Interested individuals and companies can register to become Cash Chat advertising agents on their website (www.cashchatapp.com). Namanya revealed that advertising agents will receive online training on how to do business on the mobile application.

“We are going to give our advertising agents and members of the public the right skills to do business on our platform. We believe that the future of developing countries like Uganda is in investing in innovations like Cash Chat,” he added.

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