KAMPALA – A section of lawmakers has called for the immediate resignation of Makerere University Vice Chancellor Barnabas Nawangwe describing him as unfit to lead intellectuals.
The MPs comprising of Gerald Karuhanga (Ntungamo Municipality), Paul Mwiru (Jinja East), Barnabas Tinkansimiire, James Acidri (Maracha East), Abdallalatiff Sebbagala, Muwanga Kivumbi (Butambala County), Francis Zaake (Mityana Municipality) made the call today while addressing journalists at Parliament.
Karuhanga described the incidents that have been prevailing at Makerere University as exceedingly disturbing and unwarranted to the sitting government wondering why students protesting with mere placards needed to be responded to with the military who ended up treating students in the most inhumane manner to the extent of breaking their legs and stabbing them with knives.
He said, “There is complete silence from government meaning that the course of engagement has been largely done away with, that line they are not interested. They would like to muzzle and silence anybody whether you have legitimate concerns. We want to make it clear, we applaud students that came out to challenge the unfortunate policy by the University Council. We want to remind Government that we hold power on behalf of the people and no single individual should intimidate another to silence. We aren’t going to keep quiet until this is addressed as a national issue. We will stick with the students and our people who believe in policy that takes care of everyone.”
Acidri said that what has happened at Makerere is not new having happened during Idi Amin’s regime and added that although this is a national crisis, it’s being championed by a few individuals.
“The cry of the students is real. The students are trying to reflect the poverty they are living in because they cannot afford the tuition. When you bring policy that is regressive and protested, the VC is not qualified to lead Makerere, he will do a better job leading an institution like Kyankwanzi because you can’t intimidate intellectuals and think you will succeed. We appeal for soberness and request those involved in human rights abuses to come out and apologise,” the Maracha East MP said.
On the other hand, Tinkasimire blamed the chaos at Makerere on the elite who think they have made enough wealth and don’t care about young girls at Makerere.
“Then you see an insane president, you can’t be sane and order army men to beat up students. He is using youths by calling them bazukuulu. No muzukulu of his is at Makerere. Everyone is running to Makerere University because it is a university for peasants. You send the army to the university at night, what are you doing to the children at night? What is in this country? What is in the heads of UPDF officers? Did Museveni supply army with drugs to kill our children?” he said.
Sebbagala mocked Museveni for calling Bobi Wine the enemy of progress in Uganda saying investors make their investment decisions based on what they see transpiring in the country, not what politicians have said.
He said, “When you look at what’s going on at Makerere, who is the greatest enemy? Which investor will come in to invest if you can’t protect the rights of your nationals? Where are the voices of women, why are they silent when girls were raided?”
Ssempala Kigozi (Makindye Ssabagabo) warned NRM that by dragging the army into issues of Makerere, it is creating a culture that they won’t be able to reverse in future.