Makerere University initiated eviction proceedings on Friday, leaving over 300 business owners in tears. The affected businesses, including restaurants, snack and beverage shops, and stationery stores offering printing and photocopying services, were not informed about the eviction process, according to Mr. Julius Gumisiriza, the chairperson of Makerere University Business Owners Association.
Expressing concern, Gumisiriza stated that the university provided no alternatives for students to access the services offered by the evicted businesses, creating a significant void. The 338 affected businesses employed numerous individuals, impacting their livelihoods and those of their dependents.
Despite an appeal made in court before the eviction, the university proceeded without waiting for the final decision. Chaos ensued as students sought answers from the administration about the eviction of their affordable service providers without offering alternatives.
Mariat Namiiro, the institution’s vice guild president, lamented the lack of responses from the administration despite their efforts to seek clarification. Attempts to contact the Vice Chancellor and Prof Henry Arinaitwe, the deputy vice chancellor in charge of finance and administration, for comments were unsuccessful.
The university’s eviction efforts, targeting illegal businesses in various halls of residence and colleges, began in July 2022 with eviction notices. Although a court issued an interim order in August, temporarily halting the evictions, the subsequent loss of the case allowed the university to proceed with the planned eviction exercise in the current year.
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