Museveni closes Makerere University after days of turbulence
KAMPALA- President Yoweri Museveni has ordered the immediate closure of Makerere University citing concerns over the safety of persons and property.
“I Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, President of the Republic of Uganda has this 1st day of November 2016, pursuant to the powers vested in me by the Constitution and Section 26(2) of the Universities and Other Tertiary Institutions Act 2001 as amended, decided to close Makerere University with immediate effect,” reads a statement he issued on Tuesday.
Mr Museveni’s directive followed hours of turbulence at Uganda’s oldest university. On Tuesday, the students engaged police in
reas. Police fired teargas and live bullets to disperse rowdy students who fought back with stones.
The students went on strike demanding that lecturers who had earlier gone on strike demanding for nine months accrued arrears to resume teaching as they pursued their demands.
Shortly after Mr Museveni ordered the closure, the university Guild President, Mr Roy Ssembogga, issued a statement calling on the students to wait for a response from the his office.
“I am currently in an emergency meeting with the guild prime minister. I kindly request you to await the guild’s position on this,” he said in a brief statement issued late on Tuesday.
It was, however, not possible to establish what the guild’s decision was.
Besigye weighs in
Opposition leader Col Dr Kizza Besigye weighed in on the president’s directive, saying it was ridiculous for government to claim that it does not have the resources to pay the striking lecturers.
“Makarere University students and staff should defy this ridiculous order. There’s money to bail out a private bank but not pay staff dues!” the former presidential candidate said in a tweet.