MBARARA– The Rukungiri Woman Member of Parliament, Hon Midius Natukunda Kaharata has ran to the rescue of Rukungiri University students stranded at Bishop Stuart University in Mbarara City as the lockdown in the country continues to bite.
Uganda on June 7th 2021 closed all schools and institutions of higher learning following increase in the positivity rate among the Covid-19 tests that were being done.
Two weeks later, the country’s President, Yoweri Museveni, announced a 42-day lockdown, banning the movement of vehicles. Only vehicles belonging to categories of people government considered essential workers, such as the media, medical personnel, workers at construction sites and in factories, and trucks delivering goods, among others, were issued with travel permits.
The development meant that the students who were caught up in hostels had to stay there until the lockdown terminates at the end of July. However, it’s not yet clear whether government will lift the lockdown after the 42 days.
On Thursday 22nd July 2021, Hon. Natukunda paid a courtesy visit to stranded Rukungiri Students at Bishop Stuart University who whore unable to travel back home at the time when the current lockdown was announced and had to stay in their hostels for over a month now and still counting.
The meeting was orchestrated by the legislator following a call from Rubagasira John the chairperson of Rukungiri BSU Students Association on behalf of the students who were forced to stay in hostel following the presidential directives closing all institutions of learning and subsequent ban on public transport.
Concerned and worried for the welfare of the students in these unprecedented times, Hon. Medius made arrangements to visit the students and find out how they were doing. She was able to reached out to the students who waited for her at Excel Hostel in Kakoba.
The legislator was accompanied by Denmark Beinomugisha a former guild president at Bishop Stuart University who also hails from Rukungiri.
Beinomugisha welcomed the students present and thanked Hon. Natukunda for her love for young people, explaining that though he subscribes to a different political ideology, he was humbled by the fact that the legislator was always willing to put differences aside to invite him to join her as she reached out to the students.
He also encouraged the students to be appreciative of the young servant leader who is always available to them and willing to talk to them and share in their pain.
Speaking to students, Hon. Medius said she is greatly interested in the affairs of students because they are the future and strength of this country and that is why she was eager to visit and check on how they were doing.
She commended the student coordinators for reaching out to inform her of their predicament and informed them that she was always available for them in need of help, urging them to share their concerns on the social media platforms she has formed to ensure constant communication with the young people of Rukungiri District.
The MP went on and asked students who wanted to return home to come up with a list that should be shared with her to organize and ensure that they are permitted to travel back home to be with their families.
She further urged them to be cautious, sanitize and observe all the SOPs put in place by the ministry of Health as COVID-19 is real and is killing many young and resourceful people. She promised to return to Bishop Stuart University for a longer and more interactive discussion with the students when the lockdown is eased and Universities allowed to operate.
“This will be to meet the larger Rukingiri Students Association at Bishop Stuart with a view of addressing practical challenges such as unemployment after university and how they can overcome it and thrive in the world outside the school setting,”- Hon. Natukunda Midius Kaharata added.
After addressing the students on the reason for the visit, Hon. Midius unveiled the relief items she had come with which included Irish potatoes, Rice, Sugar and masks.
The students expressed their gratitude through Rubagasira John, the chairperson Rukungiri Students Association-Bishop Stuart chapter and Kwesiga Owen who had coordinated the visit.