Makerere suspends students over hooliganism

Makerere University acting vice chancellor, Prof Henry Arinaitwe. PHOTO/ FILE

What you need to know:

  • Investigators are yet to establish the cause of the Sunday night fracas in which the university administration says 150 panes on 91 windows of both halls were destroyed.

Makerere University has suspended eight students, the third such action within a month, following clashes between residents of the neighbouring Mitchell and University halls.
Investigators are yet to establish the cause of the Sunday night fracas in which the university administration says 150 panes on 91 windows of both halls were destroyed.
The mayhem at Makerere, which is Uganda’s largest and oldest public university, coincided with back-to-back strikes at three secondary schools in northern Uganda.
Some stakeholders and administrators have blamed the destructive disturbances that have led to indefinite closures of St Joseph’s College Ombaci, St Andrew’s College, and Gulu High Secondary School in Arua, Moyo, and Gulu, respectively, on students’ misbehaviour exacerbated by long home stays during the nearly two-year Covid-induced closure of schools.  
The Ombaci protest erupted following the arrest of six students for interrogation on the death of a Senior Four student.
While in Gulu, a soldier in a law enforcement team quelling a strike over the school administration’s refusal to allow students to watch a Manchester United game, allegedly shot a student hiding in a tree dead.  
The Makerere University acting vice chancellor, Prof Henry Arinaitwe, said the Dean of Students, Ms Winnie Kabumbuli, informed the management on March 7 of violent clashes.

“By engaging in these acts, you and other students were identified in these violent clashes contrary to the university students’ regulations. These acts include engaging in hooliganism, mounting roadblocks on campus, throwing stones at buildings and setting fire on signposts and roads,” Prof Arinaitwe wrote in the suspension letters.

He added: “Because of your involvement in the above offensive acts and in order to ensure the safety of the university security, you are hereby suspended from the university with immediate effect until further notice.”
The hall wardens and chief security officers have been directed to ensure that the suspended students vacate, and do not step at the university premises unless to appear and defend themselves before the disciplinary.

“The students we suspended were found at the scene of the crime, but the students were many,” Kabumbuli said, “We are still investigating what caused the clash.”
The suspended students are Collin Chemonges Musiime (Engineering, Art and Design), David Mutesasira (Computing and Information Sciences), Luzze Muhammad (Humanities and Social Sciences), and Zekelea Sengendo (Veterinary Medicine, Animal Resource and Bio-security) colleges.

Others include Joel Mujulizi (Humanities and social sciences), Luzige Kizito (Health sciences), Yunusu Lubega (Engineering, Design art and technology) and Raymond Ochieng (School of Law).
The Guild President, Ms Shamim Nabbasa, said she had been away and unaware about the clashes and suspensions.

This is the third set of students to be suspended in one month, pushing the number to 24.
Vice Chancellor Barnabas Nawangwe last month suspended 16 students, with 14 protesting over online lectures while the rest allegedly forced first year students to sing vulgar songs. Prof Nawangwe reversed suspensions after the students apologised for their commissions and committed not to repeat the same mistakes.