20 arrested as army, police foil Makerere students protest

Tuesday October 22 2019

Soldiers confront students protesting tuition

Soldiers confront students protesting tuition increment at Makerere University on October 22, 219. PHOTOS BY ALEX ESAGALA 

By Damali Mukhaye and Alex Esagala

A group of Makerere University students on Tuesday stormed Wandegeya police station demanding for the release of their colleagues arrested for protesting tuition increment.

At least 20 students from the university were arrested on Monday for protesting 15 percent cumulative tuition increment.
The university council last year approved the cumulative increment for five years. After five years, each student will be required to pay 75 percent more.

Makerere University students at Wandegeya
Makerere University students at Wandegeya Police station wehere their colleagues were detained after arrest on October 22, 2019. PHOTOS BY ALEX ESAGALA

The students who were led by their Vice President Judith Nalukwago attempted to march to the President's office at OPM to petition President Museveni to scrap the policy but were intercepted by police and soldiers before their colleagues were arrested.
“This university is for poor students. Those who increased the tuition have their children studying outside this country. Some of us are here selling our bodies to get tuition. Mr President we are your Bazukkulu. Please halt this policy and relieve us from selling our bodies," Ms Nalukwago said.

However, the students were intercepted outside the university the gate by soldiers and police before they were arrested.
The students are currently detained at Wandegeya police station pending investigations. However, Makerere University Vice chancellor Prof Barnabas Nawangwe says the students should stop de- campaigning the tuition policy at this time because it was approved by the university council. According to him, the students will not achieve anything by protesting.

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“Tell those few student de-campaigning the policy at this time to stop because it was approved by the university council. They should not use that method they are using,” Prof Nawangwe said in telephone interview with this reporter.
Soldiers, LDU and police remain heavily deployed at the university.

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