Makerere University Vice Chancellor Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe has ordered students residing in Lumumba Hall of residence to immediately vacate and pave way for its renovation.
A section of students had stayed in Lumumba hall to finish their recess period but in a letter dated September, 12th 2022 by the Vice Chancellor addressed to the dean of students, Prof. Nawangwe ordered that all students who are still in the hall should be relocated to other halls of residence to create space for renovation.
“The purpose of this letter is to communicate to you the management’s decision and guide as follows; Lumumba hall should be closed with immediate effect to pave the way for renovation. Government-sponsored continuing students currently accommodated in Lumumba Hall should be relocated to the other halls of residence,” part of the letter reads.
“By copy of this letter, the chief security officer is requested to secure vacant possession of Lumumba Hall to pave way for smooth handover of the premises to the contractor,’’ another part of the letter reads.
The Vice-chancellor further said that said the decision was taken after a meeting by the University Central management committee. “At the University central management committee meeting held on September 12, 2022, it was agreed upon to commence the urgent renovation of halls of residence starting with Lumumba Hall”, part of the letter reads.
Some of the students who remained behind to accomplish their recess period as required by their respective courses will now have to leave. When our reporter reached Lumumba Hall, some of the students had vacated the hall while others were still keeping around.
One of the students called Jonathan Opolot doing a bachelor of Medicine and surgery said the relocation came with some complexity because rooms in the University hall already have occupants.
He explained that the occupants of the rooms at University hall left many of their equipment and they were left with limited space to accommodate those who are being transferred.
For many years, several concerns have been raised about the state of halls of residence at the University. In 2019, Members of Parliament on the Education committee during their visit to the university as part of the probe over the impasse at Makerere that saw two weeks-long student protest against the 15% cumulative tuition increment, were shocked over the poor state of the students’ halls of residence on campus.
The MPs noted that the students’ halls of residence are completely dilapidated and recommended a complete renovation. In Lumumba Hall alone, Block C has been closed since 2006 when it was cordoned off due to its poor state, but its renovation has been pending up to date. Before its closure, it was accommodating close to 200 students.
The warden could not speak to our reporter about the state of the hall by the time of this closure. However according to the University website; “the hall accommodates about 752 students, with 241 double rooms and 2 open block.”
Lumumba hall which was opened in 1971 is one of the nine halls of residence that The university has of which six are for males and the remaining three are for females.