Uganda: Planned Students' Assembly Illegal, Mak Managers Say

Some of the Makerere University student leaders during a press conference at Centigrade Restaurant Nakulabye on Saturday November 2, 2019.
4 November 2019

Makerere University administrators have warned students against participating in the planned Monday general assembly at the Freedom Square.

On Saturday, the vice Guild President, Ms Judith Nalukwago told journalists in Kampala that they have organised a general assembly at the Freedom Square to forge a way forward after a week-long standoff over a tuition increment dispute.

The students want the university to scrap the 15 percent tuition increment, reinstate all suspended students and withdraw armed security operatives from the institution's Freedom Square, a converging area for students; before they can call of their strike.

However, Makerere University management on Sunday night issued a statement via social media platforms and warned students against assembling at the Freedom Square because organisers had not fulfilled procedures and other guidelines for the general assembly as stipulated in Chapter Three of the Guild Constitution.

"Management has received information about plans by some students and other unidentified persons to disrupt normal activities at campus on Monday 4th November 2019, including plans for an illegal general assembly," a statement on the university's twitter handle reads in part. "Management appeals to all students to avoid any form of disruption of University activities. Management wishes to assure all stakeholders that security will be provided to ensure that classes and other activities proceed normally."

The impasse at Makerere started on October 22, when students protested the 15 percent tuition increment policy that was adopted by the university in 2018.

While university leaders say the students were involved in the process, the learners say the process was irregular since they [students] were denied the opportunity to share findings of a bench-marking research with the general student population.

The students say they were ambushed into passing the policy.

The strike has paralysed business at Makerere University.

Dozens of students were arrested. Others were brutalised by soldiers while some were either suspended or issued with warning letters.

On October 31, Parliament tasked the Parliamentary Committee on Education to investigate the impasse at Makerere.

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