A section of Makerere University international students who were blocked to access their home countries over the out break of deadly Covid19 pandemic aka Corona Virus revealed to us their experience during their stay in Uganda for the period of quarantine. This follows the president’s directive to close all educational institutions during his first of Nation address on covid19 pandemic at state house Entebbe on Wednesday 18th March 2020.
“I was so worried because the country l was supposed to go to had cases of Corona virus while Uganda seemed to be on a safe side as it had no registered cases.” Says Semeh Dominic a third year journalism student.
The Kenyan international student narrates that no sooner had the president finished addressing the nation than the hostel management announced that every student must vacate hostel premises by Friday 19th Midday.
He adds that he pleaded with the management to allow him stay but in vain ” l could not risk going to Kenya thus decided to rent somewhere even when it is added cost l didn’t plan for.” Semeh explains
Ephraim Mwaluvinga, a student from Tanzania disclosures that him and colleagues humbly requested their hostel management to be allowed to stay and request was granted though with strings attached. “We were asked to pay 30,000 Ug shillings for the 32 days and we are not sure if it will remain the same amount incase the period is extended as the Corona effect intensifies.” He shared
Another student from South Sudan, Mary Ajoke adds that her and other master card scholars have been taken care of and are staying at the Makerere University guest house.” All MasterCard students that did not manage to go home are in good hands and the only problem is being away from one’s family especially during such a time otherwise we are safe here.” She observed.
Ajoke proposed that all appreciation goes to master card management who endeavored to cater for these international students.
The Makerere University Dean of students, C.M Kabagambe in his 20th March letter to all students noted that international students who for strong reasons could not vacate halls to register with their hall wardens and names be submitted to the dean of students for further management. Students allowed to stay were to shift to one hall of residence and stay at their cost.
The University minister of external affairs, Heritier Mufano also reveals that registered female students are staying at Africa whereas males are at Livingstone.
International students who resided in hostels were not considered for the above arrangement and our sources reveal that two desperate Rwandan girls in tears were bounced as they had nowhere to stay.
The University management declined to comment on reason as to why International students from hostels were not at first considered despite being part of the University student community.
It is after all this time that the management through the minister external affairs has advised students who are still stranded to apply in person to the vice Chancellor asking for permission to stay at Africa hall or Livingstone during this period of quarantine and of course will meet all their costs.
The question here remains why in the first place management failed to allow these students as for now most of them must have struggled their way out and any way where would they be living all this time?