Mwiri closed following violent students’ strike

Saturday June 01 2013
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Busoga College Mwiri students during a meeting with district authorities at the Jinja Municipal Council Hall on Friday. PHOTO BY DENIS EDEMA.

Jinja

Jinja District authorities have indefinitely closed Busoga College Mwiri after three days of unrest at the school.

The strike, that began with a peaceful march to Jinja Town, turned violent on Friday night. Jinja Resident District Commissioner (RDC) Richard Gulume said an emergency meeting held at the school yesterday morning resolved to send all students home, pending investigations into the strike.

The meeting, which comprised of members of the school founding body, Busoga Diocese, members of the Parents and Teachers’ Association, the school administration and members of the district security committee, resolved that keeping students at the school would be risky.

Students sneaked out of the school compound on Friday morning and beat police deployment around major access routes to the town to reach the Busoga Square to meet district leaders.

During the meeting held at the Jinja Town Hall and attended by among others, LC5 chairman Fred Gume, the RDC and district education officer Abraham Were, the students accused the head teacher, Mr Wamala Lule, of absenteeism and nepotism.

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They also alleged that despite an increment of school fees from Shs500,000 to Shs758,000, feeding has not improved and the school’s debt has accumulated to Shs1.2 billion, up from Shs350 million.
They demanded the transfer of both Mr Lule and his first deputy Henry Mwondha, who they accuse of arrogance.

The district leaders later took the students back to the school with a promise that they would investigate the two teachers. However, the situation at the school changed on Friday night as the students turned rowdy, breaking school furniture and attacking teachers’ houses.

Trouble is said to have started during supper when the students broke plates in the dining hall and started demanding the departure of the Mr Lule and Mr Mwondha. The students later disconnected power lines to most of the classroom blocks and attacked Mr Mwondha’s house, smashing all the window panes.

They also destroyed all the windows to the staffroom and classrooms.
It was only after running battles with the riot police that they were forced back into their dormitories, paving way for the meeting that resulted into the closure of the school.

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