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First Lady warns Makerere on strikes

The Education and Sports minister, Janet Kataaha Museveni has cautioned the Makerere University community against resorting to strikes as a means of expressing their grievances.

Janet was officiating at the 2018 Makerere University Annual Research and Innovations Planning Meeting held in the Makerere Main Hall yesterday. The event was organized to discuss and appraise the research undertakings, learning and information sharing about developments in the field of research, technology and innovation.

First lady Janet Museveni (C) with Makerere University vice chancellor Barnabas Nawangwe

Referring to the recent students' strike against fees increment, Janet said strikes and students unrest jeopardises government programs and those of development partners such as the Mak-Sida research partnership.

"I wish to appeal to the management, the academic and the non-academic staff, students of Makerere University, and indeed all the other public universities, not to jeopardise this kind of support from government and our partners through disruptive activities in form of standoffs such as the ones we have witnessed in the recent past. I believe, that the institutions of high learning, will try to set the best examples and highest standards thereof of good governance and conflict management and resolution through dialogue", she said. 

She appealed to the students to cooperate with the university management to ensure that public universities are run in a peaceful environment to enable research projects take off. She also asked higher education institutions to devise peaceful means of resolving conflicts.

"You should translate the theory taught at these institutions to practice, and, entrench the culture of peaceful resolutions of disagreements and conflicts some of which may arise either out of lack of or distortions of information or mere response selections." she added.

She commended the Mak-Sida research partnership, saying "Research is the only avenue for the production of the high caliber of the human resource for knowledge through research and experimentation leading to creation and adaption of innovation. Research institutions support knowledge driven economic growth strategies and poverty reduction by generating new knowledge."

Adding: "The current progress in agriculture, health, and environmental sectors, science engineering and technology is heavily dependent on the application of such research results and innovations at Universities. The government of Uganda therefore we are grateful to the royal government of Sweden for the generous support towards the advancement of research and innovations in institutions of higher learning."

She pledged government's continued support to initiatives aimed at promoting research and innovations. "That support will continue growing as years go by and certainly we hope that it won't be long until the government of Uganda can actually take on research completely," the first lady said.

Janet said government was committed to financing research and innovation and asked the universities to be transparent enough while using these resources in order to be able to have an impact.

"I appeal to you to continue being transparent in advancing the cause of the Makerere-Sweden collaborative research programme. The government of Uganda shall be waiting for positive reports on the progress of this research collaboration," said Janet. Adding, "The strength of any university is measured from its contribution to finding remedies to its societal problems and frankly, Research and development activities have great influence on the policies of Uganda as a whole."

Speaking at the same convention, Prof Buyinza Mukadasi, the director, Directorate of Research and Graduate Training at Makerere, said the university has benefited through the collaboration through human resource development, ICT support, library resources.

"In the current cooperation agreement alone, with a total grant of about 275 million SEK [about Shs 119 billion], we have been able to support 17 research teams from the Uganda public universities to improve the environment for research and training," said Prof Buyinza. Adding that "the current agreement supports 125 PhD students, 147 Masters students, and 65 post-doc-fellows divided between the five public universities."

Research endeavors funded by Sweden have contributed to policy formulation at various levels including; The energy policy for Uganda; the policy on use of energy saving bulbs, land amendment bill, and various health policies in health such as on HIV/Aids, malaria, TB treatment and control among others.

Despite the successes, Prof Buyinza said universities continue to face several challenges, particularly lack of adequate financing; "it is evident that there is a comparatively low level of support for basic research and as a result the research-industrial-economic growth nexus is being impeded if not compromised."

Vice chancellor, Prof Barnabas Nawangwe, said the Sida bilateral research programme is credited for the transformation of Makerere University colleges in terms of supporting staff development, which he says has transformed the academic landscape.

"Practically, every college at Makerere University has benefited from Sida bilateral research programme. Out of the 716 PhD holders at Makerere University, 226 have been trained under this programme and almost all of them including the director graduate training have been promoted to higher academic ranks," Prof Nawangwe said.

This research convention offers a platform for multi-disciplinary knowledge exchange between researchers in Uganda and Sweden. The Makerere-Sweden bilateral research cooperation was initiated in 2000 and has expanded to Kyambogo, Busitema, Gulu universities and Mbarara University of Science and Technology.

The Swedish government has invested USD $100million into Uganda's graduate training and scientific research over the last 17 years championed by Makerere University.

The event was attended by the Ambassador of Sweden to Uganda HE Per Landgarde, Dr Gity Behvaran, the first secretary and senior research advisor at the embassy of Sweden in Uganda, ministry of Education and Sports officials plus other public universities.


+4 #1 Lakwena 2018-04-24 12:16
It is not a government support lady. It is a deserved taxpayers money that should be put where it rightfully belongs. When your husband, Mr. M7 went to Dar-es-Salam University, he did not pay a penny.

But here you are, without the moral authority warning Makerere students and staff over strike.

In other words, unless they are mad, perennial strikes at the institutions of higher learning have legitimate causes, which your administration lacks the moral capacity and will to solve.

It is your conceited self-importance, selfishness and dishonesty destroying this country and all the institutions therein. Ugandans need a break from the slime.
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+2 #2 ejakait engoraton 2018-04-24 18:20
"Peaceful means of resolving conflicts". Really, is going to the bush and killing innocent people, or even if they were guilty of some imagined crime, and later displaying their skulls, a peaceful way of resolving imagined conflicts, created where none existed in the first place?

As the good book says, before you point at the speck in your neighbours eye, look at the log in your own ( and aren't they some eyes)
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+1 #3 Jama 2018-04-25 02:41
As a mulokole like her son in law and daughter, who are church owners, the best thing they could do is to preach the mzee to repent.

They should preach him to ask for forgiveness to the millions of families of the the victims of his empirical military adventure in the entire great lakes region.

Then reconcile with Ugandans by peacefully handing over power to the leader of their choice.

The first lady is not well placed to preach dialogue as a way of solving conflicts, when in 1985 her husband violeted the peace agreement reached with the gorvnment of national unity headed by general Lutwa.

Instead of joining the others in the transitional gorvnment the liberator continued with the bloody war. Transparency?

You're the most corrupt regime this nation has ever had. Why didn't you direct the money used to bribe parliamentarians on age limit towards this project ? You're not even ashamed to be helped when you're capable of doing so.
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0 #4 gwok 2018-04-25 09:34
Quoting ejakait engoraton:
"Peaceful means of resolving conflicts". Really, is going to the bush and killing innocent people, or even if they were guilty of some imagined crime, and later displaying their skulls, a peaceful way of resolving imagined conflicts, created where none existed in the first place?

As the good book says, before you point at the speck in your neighbours eye, look at the log in your own ( and aren't they some eyes)

I agree. Idi Amin & his ministers too used to issue such warnings as a prelude to liquidating the trike or other "threat" leaders.

As a dictator, did Obote too do the same? I am not sure about that.
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+2 #5 Zaitun 2018-04-25 09:42
When devils take a country in hostage!! What really is the definition of a government run Institution?

This woman behaves like her husband and they continue to believe that Uganda is their ranch. What the govt. gives students is a right since their parents pay taxes which the first family thinks is their private bank account.

The Ugandan students are mainly from poor families who can hardly afford to eat twice a day unlike the State House members. Yet, children from rich families are given priority in scholarships! What a difference.
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+2 #6 Kiray 2018-04-25 18:13
Shut up woman. You're gov't is the most
corrupt on earth. Your little
husband think he is God!!
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