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Makerere University Orders Eviction Of All Businesses From Its Premises



Letter ordering termination of all businesses at Makerere university
Makerere University has ordered all businesses to vacate campus premises .
Citing a resolution by the Makerere University Council, the Acting Deputy Vice-Chancellor in charge of Finance and Administration wrote on the 1st of July directing that all vendors and business owners are required to cease operating any business within the university premises.
The businesses under threat include photocopy and stationeries, food stalls, hair salons, mobile money shops and restaurants. Only those contracted by the university to cater at selected kitchens within the halls of residence have been spared.
The letter addressed to the College Principals, Directors, Hall Wardens, and custodians in charge of University spaces ordered them to implement the council decision. It adds that all those to be found will have their materials confiscated and the people charged for trespassing on university premises.
Julius Gumisiriza the Chairman of Makerere University Business Owners Association (MBOA) says that business owners have not received individual copies of the letters from the university. However, he says the business owners’ association got a copy from a hall warden and the contents of the letter have left them in shock. This is because there is no reason given for the sudden evacuation and there has been no notice of evacuation which has to be issued 6 months prior to the evacuation as per the landlord and tenants act of 2021.
According to Gumisiriza chasing them out on short notice will cause severe losses to the businesses as many sell perishable goods.
He says that they are wondering why they are being chased away from places where they have worked for 30 years when they have tenancy agreements with the university authorities and pay rent.
He says the association is now seeking an opportunity to speak to the university administration to agree on what needs to be done to improve their quality of services if this is the cause of the termination of their businesses.
In the past businesses within the university were awarded spaces to operate from by College Principals, Directors, Hall Wardens and custodians in charge of University spaces and a special allocation committee of the estates.
This has in the past 2 years been changed to the hands of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor in charge of Finance who has issued the letter.

Gumisiriza says the university should instead focus on uprooting the hawkers who do business in the university without paying rent and yet they compete with the organized businesses and take their clients.
In 2013 under Prof.  John Ddumba Ssentamu, Makerere university evicted kiosks that had dotted University road and the lockups that have been operating opposite the University Canteen, Nsibirwa, and Livingstone halls of residence.
The eviction of the kiosks followed a meeting between Makerere University management and the business operators, under their umbrella body Makerere University Business Owners Association

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