President Yoweri Museveni Tuesday evening ordered the closure of Makerere University following a long-running stand-off between management and lecturers’ overpayment of $13.5million allowance arrears.
The lecturers have been on strike for a fortnight and were Tuesday joined by students prompting the President’s action.
President Museveni holds the title of University Visitor but ordered the closure in his capacity as Head of State.
In a short statement issued late evening, His Excellency Yoweri Museveni invoked powers granted him by the Universities and Other Tertiary Institutions Act to order the University shut.
“…close Makerere University with immediate effect until further notice, in order to guarantee the safety of persons and property,” President Museveni ordered.
The President has overall supervisory powers over all public universities.
Makerere is the biggest and oldest University in Uganda with a student population of at least 40,000. About 4,000 students are drawn from foreign countries mainly neighbors in the East African region.
Last year, the government agreed to double the lecturer’s salaries following a series of strikes.
The University was last closed in September 2011 also over related strike action.