Makerere Suspends Three Students After Fees Protests

1912 Views Kampala, Uganda

In short
The trio was suspended for their alleged involvement and participation in disruptive activities and breaching of the University Students Regulations, according to letters signed by Prof. William Bazeyo, the Deputy Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration, on behalf of the Vice Chancellor Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe.

Makerere University has suspended three students following an early morning strike over the 15 percent tuition increment early today.

The suspended students are Frank Bwambale, a Guild Representative Councilor for the School of Languages, Literature and Communication, Emmanuel Johnson Obbo, a Bachelor of Arts with Education student and David Musiri, a Bachelor of Commerce (external) student.

The trio was suspended for their alleged involvement and participation in disruptive activities and breaching of the University Students Regulations, according to letters signed by Prof. William Bazeyo, the Deputy Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration, on behalf of the Vice Chancellor Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe.

He instructed the Chief Security Officer Enock Abaine to ensure that the suspended students vacate the university premises immediately.

"I have received a report that you are alleged to be authoring several anonymous messages on social media platforms as "Young Thug" with the aim of hurting both the university's image, bringing University management and fellow student leaders of the 84th Students Guild Council… into disrepute," the letter to Bwambale reads.

 The vice chancellor adds that the actions of Bwambale are in breach of University policies as well as other national laws which give rise to criminal and civil liability on his part.

In a suspension letter to Obbo, the Makerere Vice Chancellor states that the student allegedly organized an illegal demonstration on September 7, in Freedom Square after which the student threatened the staff of the Office of the Vice Chancellor with bodily harm.

Musiri, the third student is accused of organizing illegal demonstrations on campus that led to the disruption of lecturers at the College of Business and Management Sciences today by forcing the students out of the lecture rooms.

 "You will recall that on August 7, I issued you with a polite warning cautioning you from such acts. You will further recall that on August 14, 2018, you disrespectfully replied my polite caution, signaling that you are not ready to reform as a student of Makerere University," the Vice Chancellor's letter reads. 

According to the university, the students have been suspended in line with the Makerere University Students Regulations Statutory Instrument no. 37 of 2015. The regulations warrant that demonstrations either within or outside the university shall be held in accordance with the Laws of Uganda provided the Vice Chancellor has been informed at least 24 hours in advance and police permission has been obtained.

The suspended students are to face the University Students Disciplinary Committee currently headed by Chief Magistrate Precious Ngabirano.
 
Last week, the same disciplinary committee pardoned two students Benjamin Arinda and James Chombo after accepting all the charges against them and pleaded for mercy. The suspended students join now a list of several others that were in August this year suspended by the University for threatening to cause chaos within in the institution.

The University authorities previously accused and suspended students for alleged circulating of messages calling for defiance against the university management against 15 percent fees increment, that the university management had implemented starting with the 2018/19 academic year.

In a strike earlier today, the striking students said the guild recommendation to increase tuition fees for fresh students was fraudulently passed without proper consultations amongst students. The students demanded that the university council revisits the recommendations and revisit its position on the tuition policy and AIMS, a new payment system that commenced in August.

 They also asked the council to immediately cease coercion, blackmail and intimidation of dissenting views and opinions of the student's body as these are freedoms are expressly protected under the sovereign laws of the Republic of Uganda.

 Heavy deployment of police and the military remains visible at Makerere since the early morning student's protest.

 

About the author

Davidson Ndyabahika
Davidson Ndyabahika is a Journalism major from Makerere University and is passionate about investigative and data journalism with special interest in feature story telling.

He has gone through digital and multi-media training both at Ultimate Multimedia Consult, and has attended Data Journalism Sessions at ACME to enrich his capacity in data journalism.

Davidson has previously freelanced with The Campus Times, The Observer, Chimp reports and URN. He is currently reporting under Education. He is also passionate about reporting on environment, health, crime and political satire writing.

Follow him on Twitter: @dndyaba