KAMPALA – The Makerere students Guild has issued a series of demands to the university management that must be fulfilled before the two sides can hold talks over the tuition fees increment policy.
In a letter dated Sunday, October 27, 2019, the acting Vice Chancellor, Prof Umar Katumba, invited the Guild President, Mr Julius Kateregga, and the Guild Council to attend the meeting scheduled for Monday, October 28 at 2pm with a view to resolving the tuition fees increment policy that has resulted in a week long protest which has paralysed business at the country’s oldest and most prestigious public university.
But in response, Mr Kateregga said while the students leadership welcomes the talks, they demand Immediate lifting of the suspensions of all students accused of starting the strike.
He also said that Mr Gordon Murangira and Prof Hisaali Elisa should not be part of the talks. He also demanded that the University Council be part of the meeting since as the policy making organ, they set the tuition fees increment policy and therefore hold the power to halt or stay it.
By press time, it was not immediately clear whether the university management was ready to abide by the students conditions.
Earlier on Sunday, Mr Kateregga issued a statement, saying that much as they were bloodied following brutality at the hands of security forces during the demonstration, they are not going to give up their fight.
“They have called us names to delegitimise our demands. They have called us hooligans. The world has witnessed who the real Hooligans of Makerere University are. They have called us ‘a group of errant students.’ They claim that we destroy University Property during our Peaceful Demonstrations. Was it us that broke down doors at Lumumba Hall and destroyed property in rooms worth millions of shillings? Now, they claim that we are being used by some elements in Uganda to frustrate them, we shall deconstruct that lie to the world to witness the dishonesty and hyprocrisy with which we have been managed for past two years in Makerere University,” he said.
“We called for dialogue several months back to iron out our cries. They kept dodging us, and even when we met, they majored on the least important of our cries and shut us Up when it came to biting issues. We were despised and blackmailed that should we raise a voice to protest, we shall be EXPELLED from the University,” he added.
Mr Kateregga said that they are unbowed in their resolve to demand for the Immediate reinstatement of Suspended students and revocation of the warning letters, Immediate Halting of the cumulative 15% tuition increment, Degazzetment of the Students Guild Electoral Reforms/Regulations and Immediate renovation of the Sanitation facilities in the Halls of Residence.
“The Students Guild and the Students Body at large thanks all those that have stood with us as we continue with our Peaceful Demonstration tomorrow, Monday 28th October, awaiting an official call for dialogue from the University Council and relevant Authorities.”