MAKERERE – Three journalists have on Tuesday 29 been arrested as they tried to cover Makerere University students’ tuition protest.
The students are protesting the 15% tuition increment policy introduced by the management which they (students) say is unfair to them and unaffordable.
Police has fired teargas at journalists who were covering the protest, arrested and taken some to unknown places as the protest enters second week.
Those arrested include Lawrence Kitata of Bukedde newspaper, Chris Ssemakula of BBS television and another believed to be a BBC correspondent.
The students who failed to agree with the management in a meeting vowed to continue with the strike after management said they would not revoke the policy.
According to Police and minister of education Janet Museveni, the protest is being sponsored by elements of the Opposition.
Police Spokesman Fred Enanga said the payments, made through mobile money platforms, are part of the various clues being followed to establish the triggers for the unending protests at Uganda’s oldest public university.
“Already we have managed to get one of the Mobile Money points in Wandegeya where they draw money for their protests,” said Mr Enanga, adding that the operators of the Mobile Money outlet are being investigated, with a view of unearthing the source of the funding.
The minister of Education, Ms Janet Museveni has questioned the motive behind Makerere University students’ protest against tuition increment and said most of the students at the forefront are “privileged ones.”
“Many of these students are sponsored by Government, Master Card Foundation, State House while others are beneficiaries of the Higher Education Students Loan Scheme,” Ms Museveni said in a statement shared on her social media platforms on Tuesday.
“I have learned with dismay that some of the people involved in this “demonstration” are not students from Makerere University or any other university for that matter. They are people who have made it their way of life to be paid to join any riot wherever it is happening. Apparently, the political opposition in this country – who are well funded “somehow” by some “unknown sources” – find it useful to pay unemployed young people to riot wherever and whenever they believe they see a viable opportunity,” Ms Museveni who doubles as the First Lady