MAKERERE — Rubber bullets and tear gas have on Wednesday October 23 rocked Makerere University as strike against 15% tuition policy enters day two.
Lectures have allegedly been interrupted after striking students stormed all lecture rooms on campus in a girl-led tuition increment fight.
Asked on why students are striking, Mr. Julius Kateregga, the Guild President said his administration has engaged the university management on the issue of increasing tuition but it has kept on increasing for 5 years straight.
He said that several first-year students have taken a dead year because of the tuition burden.
“We’re still pursuing the road of dialogue but management seems to be hellbent on asserting their authority,” he said adding that “We’ve discussed this with the Vice-Chancellor. Unless our people are threatened, our only mandate is to stand and protect the students.”
A total of 20 students of Makerere University were arrested on Tuesday for protesting against the 15 percent cumulative tuition increment policy.
The female students who were led by their Vice President, Ms Judith Nalukwago, were trying to match to the president office to deliver their petition, seeking to halt the policy.
They also carried placards, opposing the policy.
“This university is for poor students. Those who increased the tuition have their children studying outside this country. Some of us are here selling our bodies to get tuition. Mr President we are your Bazukkulu. Please halt this policy and relieve us from selling our bodies,” Ms Nalukwago said.
Mr. Kateregga said all students who were arrested were released on police bond adding that the actions of the management were very selective and unguided.
“Students of the university aren’t going to take this intimidation lightly. Tuition is unfair, the female students feel they’re being sent into cohabiting and perhaps prostitution. However, there’s still room for negotiations. I’ll make sure students have the right to express themselves whenever they feel aggrieved.”
The University Vice chancellor Prof Barnabas Nawangwe however said the students should stop de-campaigning the tuition policy at this time because it was approved by the university council.
“Tell those few student de-campaigning the policy at this time to stop because it was approved by the university council. They should not use that method they are using,” Prof Nawangwe said in telephone interview with our reporter.