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MPs Demand Nawangwe Resignation

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The calls comes just days after armed military officers stormed Lumumba Hall, one of the largest male students’ residences in Makerere University and, according to media reports, broke into 60 rooms, smashed students’ properties and forced them to seek refuge outside the university.
26 Oct 2019 16:38
Mak University Chancellor Barnabas Nawangwe

Audio 5

A section of Members of Parliament has demanded the resignation of Makerere University Vice Chancellor Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe following a protracted student strike and subsequent brutal arrests of students. 

The call was made by MPs; Paul Mwiru, James Acidri, Latif Ssebaggala, Muwanga Kivumbi, Florence Namayanja, Barnabas Tinkasimire, and Gerald Karuhanga during a press conference at Parliament today. 

The calls comes just days after armed military officers stormed Lumumba Hall, one of the largest male students’ residences in Makerere University and, according to media reports, broke into 60 rooms, smashed students’ properties and forced them to seek refuge outside the university. 

The raid on the Hall happened as the students’ protest against a 15 per cent tuition increment, which is implemented as part of a policy which was passed by the University Council in June 2018 entered the fourth day.  

The legislators say that the developements at Makerere today, are an indictment to the leadership of Barnabas Nawangwe.

“The cry of the students on the cumulative increment of school fees is a real cry. It reflects what is happening in Uganda. The students are simply trying to express the poverty situation they live in because they know it is a reality, they will not be able to afford this tuition,” Maracha East MP James Acidri said.

He said that everybody in Uganda has a right to quality education and if the University administration brings a policy that is exclusive and resisted but forces its way through the army, then it is an indictment to the Institution’s leadership. 

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MP Karuhanga described the events at Makerere University as exceedingly disturbing and embarrassing to the government. He wondered why the government responded with military force against students protesting with only placards.  

“Students have a disagreement over tuition increment, they come out with placards. The best you can do as a government is to come with military men, with tanks, brutalize, torture, treat them in the most inhumane an degrading manner,” Karuhanga said.

He cautioned the government against torturing, threatening and abusing the rights of Ugandans.  

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Bukoto East MP Florence Namayanja said that the violation of student’s rights especially the attack on female students was an attack on all women in the country that cannot go unnoticed and with no explanation.  

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Buyaga West MP Barnabas Tinkasimiire questioned why the army invaded student halls of residence and hostels in the night 

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Kawempe North MP Latif Ssebaggala said that the greatest enemies of Uganda are the people who brutalize others which he described as a great crime against humanity. He and his colleagues gave government an ultimatum of one day for the army to vacate the University premises and also release the students that have been arrested.  

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Butambala County MP Muwanga Kivumbi and Jinja Municipality East MP Paul Mwiru said that the several human rights violations on Ugandans were going down in the history and that Ugandans will never forget them. Mwiru said that they had been allocated space on the Order Paper for the entire Parliament to debate the situation at Makerere on Wednesday next week.  

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