The university has been the theatre of violence and the use of excessive force by law enforcement agencies, as students challenged a 15 per cent cumulative increment on tuition and functional fees. The increment, which started this academic year, will affect all first-year students, for the next five years.
FILE PHOTO: His Excellency Attilio Pacifici, the Head of EU Delegation in Uganda shakes hands with Makerere Vice Chancellor Professor Barnabas Nawangwe recently.
The Delegation of the European
Union to Uganda has expressed worry over the excessive use of force against journalists
covering a recent strike at Makerere University.
The university has been the
theatre of violence and the use of excessive force by law enforcement agencies,
as students challenged a 15 per cent cumulative increment on tuition and
functional fees. The increment, which started this academic year, will affect
all first-year students, for the next five years.
However, the strike became
violent after the arrest of its 15 instigators who were served with suspension
and warning letters. Subsequently, heavily armed soldiers stormed student’s
residences in the middle of the night, and clobbered them leaving a number of
them with injuries.
Similarly, Makerere University blocked
access for the journalists at the University campus. In the aftermath, a number
of journalists covering events at the institution were beaten up as they
attempted to cover the events. Many were injured, while others had their
But the European Union Delegation,
in a statement issued this afternoon, urged both Makerere University and the
security services to ensure that all accredited journalists are allowed to do
their job without intimidation and harassment, in order to ensure that they can
report events independently. The statement is jointly endorsed by the Heads of
Mission od Iceland and Norway.
Early in the week, the Uganda Human
Rights Commission expressed concern over human rights violations recorded in
the strikes at Makerere University citing violations of the right to respect
for human dignity and protection from inhumane and degrading treatment. The rights body also noted that the right to
personal liberty, freedom of expression and assembly and economic rights of
persons in areas neighbouring Makerere University were violated during the
“We support the analysis of the
events made by the Uganda Human Rights Commission and call upon all parties,
particularly the Uganda Police Force and Uganda Peoples' Defence Forces, to
refrain from acts of violence and to respect freedom of assembly and
expression. Any possible misconduct by their members should be investigated and
acted upon,” the EU statement said.
The university management has
since deployed hundreds of police officers to ensure students go back to class
and study insisting the examinations will go on as scheduled. Students are
commencing examinations on November 18, 2019.