Lax Security at Kampala Universities Worrying

2178 Views Kampala, Uganda

In short
Jackson Mucunguzi, the In Charge of Security at Makerere University, says they have shifted their attention to areas with high student numbers like examination halls and major buildings. He however, insists that they usually check people entering the university contrary to what URN observed.

Despite the repeated terror alerts issued by police across the country, there is lax security at public universities in Kampala. There are no body checks at the entrances of Makerere, Kyambogo and Makerere University Business school-MUBS.

 
Our reporter accessed Makerere University through the main gate thrice within a space of two weeks, but he was never checked. The security officers casually checked motor vehicles entering the university.
 
 
Jackson Mucunguzi, the In Charge of Security at Makerere University, says they have shifted their attention to areas with high student numbers like examination halls and major buildings.  He however, insists that they usually check people entering the university contrary to what URN observed.
 
 
Davidson Ndyabahika, a Mass Communication student at Makerere University, says the security at the main campus is wanting. He says a University like Makerere should observe heightened security at all times given the number of students there, adding that this will not only stop terrorism but petty theft as well.
 

//Cue in: "We have..............
Cue out: ..........institution secured"//


 
At Makerere University Business school there was no checking for people walking in at both the small and main gates when our reporter visited.  The officers only checked vehicles entering the university.

 
Sarah Aporo, the MUBS Guild speaker, wonders why the security checks at the university have been relaxed for some days. According to Aporo, on some days students are checked with metal detectors.

 
However, a source at MUBS told URN on condition of anonymity that there have been no security checks for the past two months.  At Kyambogo University, students revealed that there have been no security checks since the beginning of this year.
 
 
Henry Ogwal, a student says people move into the University freely, adding that the metal detectors seem to be dysfunctional. Elli Katunguka, the Kyambogo University Vice Chancellor told URN that they contracted a private firm to handle security at the university but didn't divulge details.
 
 
He scheduled a later date to speak with URN about the matter. Universities offer a potential target for terror attacks given the high concentration of students.  In April 2014, Alshabab militants attacked Garrisa University College in neighboring Kenya and killed 147 students and wounded scores of others.
 
The death toll is the highest in a terror attack on Kenyan soil since the U.S. Embassy attack in 1998.

 

About the author

Alex Otto
“Journalism that changes lives is my goal,” Alex Otto has said on more than one occasion. That is his career’s guiding principle. Has been since he was a radio journalist in the northern Ugandan town of Gulu in 2009.

Otto passionately believes his journalism should bring to the fore the voices of the voiceless like the shooting victims of Apaa. Otto tries in his journalism to ask tough questions to those in positions of authority.

Based in the Kampala bureau, Otto is especially interested in covering agriculture, politics, education, human rights, crime, environment and business. He has reported intensively on the post-conflict situation in northern Uganda.

A URN staff member since 2014, Otto previously worked with The Observer Newspaper from 2012 to 2013 and later the Institute for War and Peace Reporting IWPR based in Gulu.

He was the URN Gulu bureau chief 2014-2016.