MAKERERE PRIVATIZES MEALS IN HALLS
Makerere University privatized meals in the halls at the beginning of the academic year of 2014/2015.The university hired private service providers and firms to offer catering services. Serving centres have been created, combining at least two or three halls where students have all meals together.
Makerere university council had decided to stop giving meals to the students in halls.The students reacted by striking, making the university council and the guild council negotiate to solve the situation to continue giving meals to the willing students.
Makerere implemented the decision reached upon by the university council and scrapped off meals from some halls. This was after the advice from its stake holders to focus on the core functions of the University.
During the press conference held on 30th June 2014, the Makerere university Vice Chancellor, Prof. John Ddumba-Ssentamu confirmed to the media, saying
“This decision was well planned therefore everyone was catered for. Students will be paid their allowance to cater for themselves, and I believe that the professional firms we patterned with will provide the best. On the side of the staff which has been operating this job, we have already designated them, therefore we have re-allocated them to work in other places within the university.”
“The core function of the university is teaching and learning, research and innovations and also knowledge transfer and partnership”, she explained.
H.E Bwowe Ivan, the guild president of Makerere University, says he thanks the university council for ‘giving good meal services’ to the students. He complains that meals are expensive for the students. ‘Makerere is a public university; it should consider the daughters and sons of poor.’
The assistant university bursar in charge of allowances of the government sponsored students, says these students were highly considered when their allowances were increased from about four hundred thousand shillings(Shs 450,000) to about seven hundred thousand shillings (Shs 700,000)for the non- residents.‘Non –resident government sponsored students will be paid food allowance except those who will register for meals with the warden’s office.
According to the letter from the Dean of students,hired catering firms or restaurants are; Finland Bar and Restaurant for Mary Stuart, Venus Meals Enterprises for University Hall,Rema Restaurant and Take Away for Nkrumah hall. Lastly, Bbosa Institutional Catering Services will serve Africa Hall, Galloway House and Kabanyolo Hostel.
‘Halls have been combined for good service and delivery at low costs to the students’ says Eunice Kyakuwa, a service provider in Mary Stuart dinning, one of the service centres. However some students are dissatisfied by the new policy.
The arrangement for government students serving centres include; University hall dinning for University Hall and Mitchell Hall students,Nsibirwa Hall dinning for Nkrumah and Nsibirwa Halls, Africa Hall dinning for Africa and Livingstone Halls, Mary Stuart dinning Hall for CCE Complex, Mary Stuart and Lumumba halls. Galloway House and Kabanyolo Hostel are the other serving centres for the students residing and non-residents attached to them.
Eddy, a staff of Finland bar and restaurant marks students’ meal cards, says private sponsored students who want meals, count the number of days in the semester and multiply them by two thousand and five hundred shillings (Shs 2,500) for only lunch and by four thousand (shs 4,000) for all the three meals. They are given a number after payment which is written before getting meal. Students are always calm, disciplined and patient on the line because they are sure of getting food. Eddy’s colleagues are happy to serve Makerere university students. ‘It is rare to find food poured on the floor or even tables.’
Some students appreciate the balanced diet compared to the previous meals under the university system which was crowded with posho and beans. It is now black tea, buns and doughnuts, matooke, posho, rice, beans, meat, katogo, cassava, peas, fruits such as water melons and pineapples.
The time of serving meals is adjusted to 30 minutes late, breakfast starts at 6:30am to 8:00am, lunch at 12:00 noon to 2:00pm and supper at 6:00pm to 8:00pm.
Macklin Ayebazibwe, a second year student pursuing a bachelors in Education used to have her meals in Complex Hall, but now eats in Mary Stuart, says ‘the food is good but little’. Sheadds that the private service providers also sellnice spiced food which includes matooke and chicken to students who wish to have a different meal off the daily menu at an affordable price.
Sarah Akankunda, a second year student says ‘food is a bit good compared to what we were taking in Complex but it’s little.’ We sit comfortably in plastic chairs, the dining hall is always clean, water and folks are always available. Sarah missed food twice, ‘they told us to wait for thirty minutes but you cannot wait yet you have a lecture.’ Sarah also wishes that meal services go back to the old system of meals in every hall.
Maimunah and Lailah, students pursuing a bachelor in library and information computing, attached to Mary Stuart, say students should adjust due to hard economic situation.
WHO IS YOUR MOTHER?
BY NAFULA JUDITH
This drama intends to show the way mothers behave and play their roles at home. All the characters act as mothers expressing their view about children.
Rose:(enters shouting and walking to all corners)
This home can never be clean, God the children you gave me
None of them cares to do housework before I come
(Calls children by names)
Are you curses?
Maureen :( enters praying kneels on the mat)
God I thank you for my children
Very bright, beautiful, obedient,
You are my love, joy and happiness
Indeed children are a blessing!
(Stands up, raises her hands singing a song)
He has given me victory
I will lift your name higher
Jehovah, I will lift him higher.
Justine 😦wondering about her children)
My children are now coming from school
I have not yet cooked, the fridge is empty
Hmmm! (claps her hands) let me make them some juice
(Brings fruits, jar, spoon, sieve, knife and sugar to make juice)
I will give them juice as they wait for food to be ready
Sarah: (enters looking at herself, in high hill shoes)
Am still young and beautiful
Giving birth to one does not deny me freedom,
It’s not written on my face, I have no kid, hahahahahaha…
I should be dressing for Club Silk’s‘shake tonight’
Let me enjoy my youthful age
(Running)Off am gone, see you tomorrow
Winnie 😦 comes in with a stool and sits on it)
Susan (the maid), have you given my children tea
What will they have for lunch?
Junior’s hair is so bad take him to the saloon, oh my son!
Plait Vick’s hair, oh my daughter!
Am late for work
This twenty thousand is for food,
What should I bring when am coming back?
Good day sweet hearts, I love you so much
GOOD FOOD AND CUSTOMER CARE AT GUILD CANTEEN
By Judith Nafula
The Guild Canteen is a restaurant and bar in Makerere University. It is located opposite Lincolin Flat and Senate house on the right and left respectively. Itopens at 8am and closes at 10pm daily.
One is enticed by the attractive red and white colors of the restaurant and its cleanliness outside which is maintained in the entire place.
On arrival, the customer chooses where to sit and immediately a service provider comes, greets and takes the order. The customer is assured that the order will come immediately. Other customers go straight to the line to get food because lunch is self-service and order with cash.
All types of local foods are served; rice, posho, matooke, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, cassava, yams. Green vegetables and salads are served as addition to the food. Customers choose sauce; beef stew, chicken, beans, cowpeas, Gnuts stew,goat meat.
The pretty spiced dish served at lunch takes about six hours to get ready. While the mouth-watering snacks like chips, vegetable or egg sandwich, egg roll, sausages, chaps are warmed and served with tomato sauce.
Juliet Tushabe who is responsible for making the fresh tastyjuice says it is madefrom ‘carrots, passions, mangoes, sugar, boiled water, pineapples, pawpaws, oranges, water melon, and sugar’.
The palatable full buffet is fifteen thousand shillings while all food with one type of sauce is seven thousand shillings only. Asmall glass and big glass of the luscious juice cost shillings two thousand and four thousandrespectfully. A bottle of soda costs between one thousand five hundred and two thousand shillings.
The food has enough salt, the beef stew contains little cooking oil and spices. These give it an excellent delightful and satisfying taste. The gnut stew is thick and well cooked. The green vegetables are half cooked
Some of the customers eat while saying ‘the food is delicious, fantastic and tasty. It is worthy the amount of money we pay’, praised the four ladies on one of the tables.
However the costs seem to be higher for an average student because most of the customers appear to university officials, lecturers and others are there on offer from ‘friends’ or parents.
The Guild Canteen is owned by Madam Bakubagana Jane. Itbelongs to a company called Jesh Functional Services. It was purposely for guild council service but later extended services to all people in the University.Makerere University wanted to take money from it directly to the senate bursar.
The cleaners and cooks arrive at 6 am while service providers at 7 am. One service provider is allocated three tables where he or she sits waiting for customers and hangs nearer to attend to customers’ extra needs.
They uniformly dress in purple shirts and black skirt for ladies and black trousers for the men. In the tent are four white chairs around each table under a red umbrella. The tables are decorated red Coca Cola table mats with white italic words ‘meal time goes together with coke.
Mwesigye Memory a service provider says,food service needs many people for good customer service and high standard of the business
Sweet slow music plays is the background the television is on for lunch time news and more programs. Customers enter quietly and talk responsibly which keep the place calm, cool with fresh air. Most customers sit for a while after their meal.
THEFT ON INCREASE IN MAKERERE UNIVERSITY HALLS
By Wangada Anita, Muryengye Vera and Nafula Judith
Makerere University has 9 halls of residence that accommodate quite a number of students from all over the Country. 6 of these are occupied by the male students while 3 are for females.
Nsibirwa, Mitchell, Lumumba, Livingstone, University hall, and Nkrumah are the male halls while Africa, Mary Stuart and Complex are female halls.
It has come to our notice that these halls of residence have no restrictions for in and out movements especially for non residents thus exposing residents and their property to greater risk of theft.
Each of these halls is allocated a warden however students say that the administration though aware, it is rarely notified on theft matters since they believe they can deal with such situations on their own.
Godfrey Olowo, the finance minister, Mitchell hall said that there is community security at Mitchell where students look out for each other in case there is call for alarm such that the rest of the available students stay alert.
“There is a general term we use here at Mitchell in case of emergency so whenever a student shouts ‘Mitchell Oyee’ we instantly run to his rescue,” added Olowo
Many parents consider halls as the safest places for their children and property however these are easily accessed by different categories of people, thieves inclusive because there is free entry and exit.
Several students said that theft in halls occurs on a daily basis which has left many miserable because once their property is stolen, it is never recovered.
The thieves are believed to be both outsiders and fellow students though outsiders are said to cause the greatest panic as these cannot easily be identified.
Electronics such as laptops, phones, tablets etcetera are the frequently stolen items since these are considered most valuable however other items like clothes, university documents, are also taken.
Andrew Tamale, a second year student of Computer Science and a Mitchell resident said that his laptop was stolen from his room when he was out for lectures.
“I was surprised not to find my laptop where I had kept it and since then, I find difficulties with my course,” said Tamale
Olivia Tusiime, a resident in Mary Stuart also said that her former roommate stole her phone and laptop.
“I had to change to another room and it was a shame for a fellow girl to involve herself in theft though I strongly believe that it is outsiders who engage more in the act” added Tusiime
Some of the tricks thieves use include; use of master keys, some use late night opportunity checking which door was left open in the halls, others grab students right before they enter their halls.
Justin Namara, a resident in Africa said that she is a victim who fell at the hands of fellow students who attacked her just before she could step in her hall.
“They threw me down, took my watch, handbag and phone.” Said Namara
Students and outsiders who steal this property are believed to be out of cash thus forcing them to look for other means of survival.
Students especially residents in male halls like Lumumba and Mitchell have resorted to mob justice as a way of scaring off thieves such that theft is appropriately dealt with.
This Semester in Mitchell hall, 3 outsiders were caught in the act thus 2 beaten though later died at the hands of policemen.
Theft remains a big challenge in halls as this has an effect on students’ learning and concentration for items stolen like computers play an immense role in their studies.