Wednesday July 30 2014

Students beat security to protest at City Square

DPC Denis Namuwooza (L) and other police

DPC Denis Namuwooza (L) and other police officers drag Mr Bashir Kabugo to CPS yesterday after they were arrested at the Constitutional Square. Mr Kamugo and his colleague, Mr Robin Wabulembo, beat police surveillance to stage a protest at the often heavily guarded venue. PHOTO by Abubaker Lubowa 


Police yesterday arrested two students of Makerere University who were protesting against unemployment, corruption and what they described as a crisis at Makerere University, among other challenges in the country. The duo, Mr Bashir Kamugo, a third year student of Bachelor of Arts in Arts and Mr Robin Wabulembo, a second year student of Bachelors of Business Administration, beat security and accessed the often heavily guarded Constitutional Square.

Donned in their red coloured university gowns, the two, who carried placards that highlighted their demands to government, vowed to die from the Square demanding that government tackles issues of unemployment and corruption in the country.

The placards had messages reflecting high unemployment rate, insecurity, high taxes on agriculture tools, corruption, among other issues.
“We don’t have jobs but this government has neglected us, we are ready to do anything. Let them shoot us if they want so that this government hears our demands,” chorused the students.
Police officers, led by Mr Denis Namuwoza, the divisional police commander (DPC) Kampala Central Police Station (CPS) arrested the students and detained them at CPS.

Journalists were denied access to the premises and refused to comment on the matter.
This comes hardly a week after police blocked students at Makerere from taking their petition to Parliament challenging the University council’s 10 per cent fees increment for first years.
The Kampala Metropolitan Police spokesperson, Mr Patrick Onyango, confirmed that the duo are still being held at CPS and will be charged because they did not seek permission before assembling on the grounds.

“The duo will be charged with unlawful assembly under section 65 of the Penal Code. They were arrested because they were staging a demonstration at the constitutional square yet they have the university where they could hold it (their demonstration),” Mr Onyango said.

No go area
Previous arrests. In 2012, Workers’ MP Sam Lyomoki was arrested as he tried to hold a rally at the Constitutional Square. Also in 2011, a group of youth led by incumbent Luweero Woman MP Brenda Nabukenya, were blocked from the venue as they tried to celebrate President Museveni’s “birthday”.