Makerere postgraduate students of health sciences have turned down the call by minister of Education Mrs Janet Museveni to work in Mulago hospital, saying it's unfair to work while their colleagues are home.
"They [government] wrote a letter and [asking us to work], our Principal wants to talk to us but our stand is clear: We are not here to provide free labour to this Country. People must learn to respect others. You don't just wake up and close a University without thinking of consequences. Now it's either the whole of Makerere to be re-opened or no more free labour for Mulago hospital and its subsections," vowed one of the students who requested to remain anonymous.
After the indefinite closure of the university, these students were called upon by minister Kataha to return and assist in the activities of Uganda's top referral hospital until the whole university is re-opened because the hospital is facing shortage of manpower.
But in their letter that is drafted and about to be sent to all the stake holders, the students argue that the president's directive was too severe and has had serious impact on all students.
"We the post-graduate students of the College of Health Sciences are not different from other students. Our education is just as important as that of other post-graduates and undergraduates of Makerere University. Therefore the College cannot open in isolation," another student added.
Now, the Principal College of Health Sciences Prof Charles Ibingira has summoned all his staff for a meeting tomorrow so as to forge a way forward. The meeting will start at 8am.
Because of Makerere's closure, Mulago National Referral Hospital has experienced shortage of man power as over 300 post-graduate doctors left the hospital and its affiliates within Kampala that include Kawempe MNRH Directorate of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Kiruddu Hospital and Naguru China-Uganda Friendship Hospital where services largely depend on the post-graduate students and their lecturers.
But even amidst all this, the government of Uganda has not yet come out to clearly clarify on the date when the university is going to re-open.