Strike, death at Makerere University

Tuesday March 16 2010

Makerere University students carry a coffin as

Makerere University students carry a coffin as they demonstrate against shooting dead two of their colleagues by a guard in March.. PHOTO BY ISAAC KASAMANI 

By Tabu Butagira, Andrew Pacutho & Flavia Nalubega


Makerere University students have taken to the streets after a trigger-happy guard, Richard Akasia, allegedly shot dead two and critically injured one of them at God Is Able Hostel in Marerere-Kikoni.

Police say many students had gathered at the Hostel for the final leg of the Guild election campaigns when the watchman, suspecting one of the students could have intended to damage a vehicle in the parking lot, opened fire.

Earlier reports suggested supporters of Simon Kamau, one of the contestants in the guild presidential race, clashed with those of NRM's John Taylor, prompting the shooting of the Kenyan students.

“We have arrested the suspect and is being held at Old Kampala Police Station as investigations continue,” Police Spokesperson, Judith Nabakooba, says.

Ms Nabakooba says identities of the victims are not clear due to conflicting information. It had been reported that Brian Awaga and Simon Peter Mungeni were those shot.


Students wearing red gowns and brandishing tree branches gathered at the University main building and the campus freedom square to demonstrate the killings.

The students later marched along Sir Apollo Kaggwa Road, but they were intercepted by police at Makerere Full Gospel Church. Police fired in the air to disperse the students before sealing of the road but opened it shortly after.

Also, police shot bullets and fired teargas canons to restrain a group of students who had bought a coffin and tried to force their way into Mulago Hospital mortuary where the bodies of the dead students are lying. The coffin was later confiscated by police.

Dennis Pato and, Grace Ruto and Enap Atim all guild president hopefuls are among the hundreds of students demonstrators. “We cannot stand by as police harass our fellow students. We shall demonstrate until something is done” Pato said.

Meanwhile, the Guild Presidential elections that were scheduled to take place on Wednesday have been postponed until calm has returned to the university.