KAMPALA – Makerere University Vice-Chancellor Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe is in trouble after a group of students on Monday 11 petitioned court seeking to challenge the legality of the University Students’ Regulations Statutory instrument passed in 2015.
In their petition filed before the High Court Civil Division, the students led by their guild Vice President Judith Nalukwago contend that their rights to attain a meaningful and wholesome Education are suffocated by the unfair administrative and regulatory sanctions imposed by prof. Nawangwe.
According to Regulation 6 of the Makerere University Students’ Regulations Statutory instrument of 2015 gives the Vice-Chancellor powers to arbitrary suspend a student from the institution or discipline him in any manner he thinks fit before seeking approval from the Disciplinary Committee.
Now claiming to protect the sanctity of Makerere University and free fellow students from further oppression, six students’ leaders have asked the court to declare as illegal, null and void regulation 6 citing that it offends principles of natural justice as students are not given a chance to tell their side of the story.
The six leaders include; Abbas Luyombo, Judith Nalukwago, Mariam Kyomugisha Mugisha, Julius Muyambi Mbabazi, Marion KIrabo and David Musiri.
“Regulation 6 (1) (d) of the Makerere University Students’ Regulations Statutory instrument of 2015 is an unnecessary and disproportionate limitation or restriction of the students’ right to a fair hearing with no place in the free and democratic society,” reads the court documents in part.
Court documents state that the enforcement of regulations leaves the students devoid of certainty as to whether or when they will be given a fair hearing since the Vice-Chancellor usually tells them in suspension letters that they will be given a hearing at an unspecified time.
On the night of October 24th/2019, security operatives raided Makerere University student’s halls of residencies and beat up students on top of destroying their valuables. This was on the third day into students’ demonstrations as they challenged the cumulative 15% tuition increment.
Makerere University which has been named as a respondent in this application is yet to file a response.