KAMPALA – The Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) has said they will hold Deputy Inspector General of Police, Maj. Gen. Muzeyi Sabiiti and Chief of Defence Forces Gen. David Muhoozi personally accountable for what they described as brutality and molestation of students during the ongoing strike at Makerere University.
Last week, students accused soldiers of breaking into their residences and beating them up while also vandalizing their property following a stalemate over the 15% tuition fees increment policy.
And now, FDC says the UPDF has now officially been turned into a tool of suppression.
“Gen. Yoweri Museveni and his wife Janet Kataha, minister of education, must be ashamed of this barbaric behavior. Such raids last happened during Idi Amin and Milton Obote regimes. The UPDF has now officially been turned into a tool of suppression,” FDC spokesman Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda said at a press conference in Kampala on Monday.
He added: “It is UPDF that invades court, Parliament and now Makerere. The country will and should hold individual UPDF officers behind these operations such as Maj. Gen. Muzeyi Sabiti (acting Inspector General of Police) and Gen. David Muhoozi (Chief of Defence Forces) responsible for the brutality,” he added.
Mr Ssemujju said the students are demonstrating for the just cause and hence should be listened to and not suppressed with violence.
“The reason students are striking is because they and their parents are unable to pay the 15% annual tuition increment the University imposed on them last year. This increment will translate into 75% when fully implemented in 2023.The total amount Makerere expects from the 15% tuition increment this year is Shs4.56 billion. This is the money for which our children are being beaten for,” he added.
The FDC spokesman accused the government of not prioritizing education, saying State House takes more money than other sectors of the economy.
“In the budget of 2019/20, Museveni increased money for donation under State House from Shs 80 billion to Shs 240 billion. The total budget of Makerere remains Shs316 billion of which the government contributes about Shs220 billion and private students Shs95 billion. Makerere is a public university which should not be abandoned to the students and their parents. Part of the money Museveni gives himself for donation should be given to Makerere and Mulago,” he added.
He also asked the army to withdraw from the university.
“Vice-Chancellor Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe should stop using highhanded methods when dealing with grievances of students. All suspended students must be allowed to unconditionally return to the University. And Muzeyi Sabiti must immediately withdraw all UPDF soldiers from Makerere. Police and UPDF must compensate all injured students and pay for their vandalized belongings,” he added.