The spokesperson of Makerere University Ritah Namisango has stated that the university will reach out to and engage all students to remain calm following the outbreak of major protests today.
Teargas rocked Makerere University on Monday as Police dispersed students striking in protest against the University administration’s decision to hike tuition fees.
Namisango says the university will dialogue with the student body to ensure that the situation is tenable for exams to kick off as scheduled at the end of the month.
However the fate of 24 students who were arrested during the early morning strike might stifle a dialogue between students and management on calling off the strike.
It has been a culture that students arrested during strike are released, however university management says this culture must end. A university official says students who were arrested “will be taken to court, they will face the university disciplinary committee or they will be suspended.
Kampala Metropolitan Police Deputy Commander, Dennis Namuwoza, told URN that the students will be taken to court and charged with participating in an illegal demonstration. He said the arrested students are being detained at Makerere and Wandegaya police stations A meeting was convened today between security, university management and students to forge a way out of the strike. The three parties disagreed on the fate of students who were arrested. Students who were in the meeting described Acting Vice Chancellor, Prof William Bazeyo, as an arrogant man who refused to listen to their demands.
Julius Muyambi, a Guild Minister for Production, who attended the meeting says Prof Bazeyo gave them less time and was unwilling to engage them on how to end the crisis.
The radical reforms Prof Nawangwe has introduced or intend to initiate include; stopping the provision of meals to government-sponsored students and instead give them Shs 4000 per day, scaling down evening programmes, increasing tuition for both undergraduate and postgraduate students and abolishing staff incentives, among others.
The controversy over the reforms stems from arguments that they were introduced without consultations. Whereas students and lecturers have been saying that they were not consulted, university management claims the two groups were consulted and accepted the reforms.