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Court sets Date to Rule on Mak Vice Chancellor’s Excessive Powers

While appearing at court, however, students were blocked by Anti-riot police from entering the court premises angering several of them. Eron Kiiza, the students’ lawyer says this is the latest display of impunity by the security forces in collusion with university managers.
Addressing the press: Makerere University Students led by Judith Nalukwago, the former Vice Guild President, and their lawyer Eron Kiiza.

Audio 2



Justice Musa Ssekaana of the Civil Division of High Court has set April 8th for the ruling on the students’ application challenging the powers given to their Vice-Chancellor under the Makerere University Students Regulations, 2015.  

In December last year, six Makerere University students ran to court challenging the gazetted students’ regulations that mandates the Vice-Chancellor unquestioned powers to suspend any student at will, without any investigations.  

Led by Judith Nalukwago, the former Vice Guild President, students are challenging specifically rule 6 (1) (d) of the students Regulations which gives the Vice Chancellor to arbitrarily suspend a student from the university or discipline him or her in a manner he thinks fit. The Vice Chancellor is empowered to seek approval of his action at the next meeting of the University Disciplinary Committee.    

The students’ petitioners are; Abbas Ruyombo, Judith Nalukwago, Mugisha Mariam Kyomugisha, Mbabazi Julius Muyambi, Marion Kirabo and David Musiri. They argue that this regulation is overly broad, vague and illegal.  

Through their lawyers Kiiza and Mugisha Company Advocates, students say the regulation threatens and violates the right to a fair hearing, natural justice and just administrative treatment guaranteed by the constitution, through articles 28, 42 and 44.  

The students are seeking Court’s quashing of the regulation and orders to stop the university from further reliance upon and the enforcement of the said regulations.  

Justice Ssekaana was presiding over the matter on Monday morning laid a schedule for making submissions for all parties. The students are expected to file their submissions on March 9th while the University is expected to file its submissions on March 30th and Court will determine the case on April 8th 2020.  

While appearing at court, however, students were blocked by Anti-riot police from entering the court premises angering several of them. Eron Kiiza, the students’ lawyer says this is the latest display of impunity by the security forces in collusion with university managers.  

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The students include; Abbas Ruyombo, Judith Nalukwago, Mugisha Mariam Kyomugisha, Mbabazi Julius Muyambi, Marion Kirabo and David Musiri.  

They are also challenging rule 8(9)(a) of the same student’s regulations that makes police permission a mandatory precondition for holding students’ demonstrations. They argue that this provision particularly threatens and permissibly limits students’ freedom of expression, freedom of association, academic freedom, freedom of peaceful demonstration and assembly.  

According to Nalukwago, she chose to go to court to legally protect Makerere University Students from the oppression and suffocation of students’ freedoms triggered by the contested regulations.  

Nalukwago wants Court to issue orders quashing any decisions, directives based on the regulations as null and void.  

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