Studies resume at Makerere

Friday November 8 2019

Students seated in the Freedom Square at

Students seated in the Freedom Square at Makerere University recently. FILE PHOTO  

By NOBERT ATUKUNDA

Studies at Makerere University have resumed in some colleges as students wait for Parliament’s decision on their grievances that triggered the strike last month.

“Students are now calm, but if Parliament comes up with the decision that students do not want, you will hear that the ‘fire’ is back on this hill,” a Guild Representative Council (GRC) official, who declined to be named, said yesterday.

On Tuesday, the guild leadership said they were in a dilemma on whether to maintain or call off the strike after they failed to convene a general assembly to decide on the matter.
Ms Judith Nalukwago, the vice guild president, earlier this week said the student leadership was supposed to meet the students and decide on the matter regardless of the parliamentary education committee resolutions.
However, police halted their assemblies.

Demands
Some of the issues that the students raised include suspension of students, extension of the semester by at least one week, scrapping of the 15 per cent tuition increment before the next academic year, among others.
Last week, the university management resolved to deploy 2,000 police officers to secure its 1,000 lecture rooms for students and lecturers eager to resume studies despite the strike.

Consequently, there was heavy deployment on only Monday.
Kampala Metropolitan spokesperson Patrick Onyango said police had not detected any signals of the strike at the institution.
“We deploy according to intelligence report. When there is no threat we do not deploy, when we do not detect any signal of the strike we do not deploy,” Mr Onyango said.

For the past few weeks, the university has been a scene of violence as striking students were engaged in running battles with security officers, causing destruction of property and business.

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