Alliance for National Transformation (ANT) party has condemned the brutality against Makerere University students who were protesting against the 15% tuition increment policy.
Speaking during a press conference in Kampala today, the ANT National Coordinator, Alice Alaso said that the student’s right of the freedom to expression should be respected.
“The student’s rights to freedom of expression and assembly are enshrined in the constitution and in no way should Makerere University administration appear to deny the students their constitutional freedoms through suspensions and expulsions,” Alaso said.
Adding that, “the particular involvement of the army-indiscriminate beating, arrests and raiding the student’s halls of residence and hostels is very dangerous and should be stopped henceforth.”
She urged those in charge, particularly the Commander-in-chief to immediately withdraw soldiers from the university as the nation still had fresh memories of the brutal conduct of the army in Kasese.
Ms Alaso also asked the Vice-Chancellor Prof Barnabas Nawangwe and other university administrators to reconsider their methods of addressing students’ grievances.
“The vice chancellor should stop the ongoing tendency of recourse to the police and military as a means of sorting out disagreements and student’s complaints,” the ANT National Coordinator said adding that, “Makerere was not a military barracks.”
Rather than brutalize the students, government should instead increase funding to the University, she added.
– Student Protests –
On Wednesday, more than 100 students of Makerere University were arrested and many others alledgedly tortured following protests against the 2018 University Council’s decision to increase tuition.
According to Dr. Muhammad Kigundu, the Manager Communiation at Makerere University, the new fees structure is being implemented so that all new students enrolling at the university have to factor in an annual 15 per cent increment over the next five years until when tuition has been increased by at least 65 per cent.