KAMPALA – A total of 45 students, who were on Saturday released from custody following their arrest during protests at Makerere University, have vowed to continue fighting for the removal of the 15% tuition fees increment policy.
The students, who were arrested over the past five days of protests, were released on bail from the different police stations in Kampala after being charged with inciting violence and destruction of property.
The Guild President, Mr Julius Kateregga, who was among those granted bail, said that at this time they are not ready to negotiate with the University leadership, accusing the latter of unleashing brutally on the students using the army.
Pictures have emerged showing the army and police brutalising students and destroying their property in attempts to quell the protests. On the nights of Wednesday and Thursday, students of different halls of residence said army men broke into their rooms and beat them, while destroying their property such as TV sets.
The Guild President said that by such actions, the University leadership led by Prof Barnabas Nawangwe has shown that they are insensitive to students’ concerns.
Since Monday, the students have been protesting against the university policy of increasing tuition fees by 15% every academic year for freshers. The policy is meant to last five years, by which the tuition will have been increased by 75%.
However, Prof Nawangwe says that the students are wasting time protesting since the policy was passed by the university council two years ago and has been implemented.
Meanwhile, on Saturday Kampala Metropolitan Deputy police spokesman Luke Owoyesigire said several other people who are not students were arrested during the protests at the university.
He said that they are interrogating them to establish their motive.