KAMPALA – Ministry of Education and Sports officials led by higher education state minister, Dr John Chrysostom Muyingo, have been questioned over their role in regard to the military’s deployment to quash the Makerere University strike.
The officials were interfacing with Parliament’s Committee on Education and Sports on Tuesday 5.
The committee, tasked by the House to investigate the strike at the university to oppose a 15 percent increment in tuition fees, had earlier met with the students’ governing body led by the guild president, Julius Katerega, which raised concerns over the brutality of the military.
Katerega said that the objection of the students was to the irregularities in the process in which the tuition increment was carried out without the full consent of the student body. The increment also extended to functional fees left the students bitter and crying foul.
The MPs led by the committee chairperson, Hon. Jacob Opolot, brought the concerns to the minister citing poor communication, intimidation and intrigue on the part of the university management and the ministry on the matter.
Opolot said that the level of communication at the university has deteriorated.
“There is high handedness and a cloud of contempt around the affairs of the university especially with the use of the military. The administration should negotiate with the students,” he noted.
The Rubaga Division North MP, Moses Kasibante said that the issue of brutality is serious and needs to be dealt with by the Ministry of Education and Sports.
“We know the university management switched off the lights and the military attacked the university beating up everyone; is that the way of doing things?” he asked.
Hon. Joy Atim (UPC, Lira District) noted that the President said the army is deployed in situations when they need to kill or to deal with people challenging the sovereignty of the country.
“Based on this, what then are the military doing at the university; are they there to kill these students over school fees increment?” Ongom asked.
Dr Muyingo responded saying that nobody from the ministry asked for the military to deploy.
“I request that the committee directs those concerns to the relevant ministries of internal affairs and security because we were not aware of the military’s move to deploy at the university,” he noted.