Uganda People's Defense Forces-UPDF soldiers will only leave Makerere University on the request from management, the Defense Ministry Spokesperson, Brigadier Richard Karemire has said. He was speaking to URN on the petition by Makerere University students to parliament demanding the withdrawal of the military from the University.
The student's petition stemmed from the deployment of Military police, the regular army and police in the university following the just concluded strike by staff. Staff laid down their tools demanding that management reinstates the suspended association leaders.
In their petition to the Education Committee of Parliament, the students argue that the presence of the military in the university has disrupted student affairs. Joel Roy Mucunguzi, a Law student, says some of the soldiers are harassing students through corporal punishments.
//Cue in: "Military is deployed…
Cue out: …from the university"//
Marion Kirabo, another student says the presence of the military is intimidating to students and police. She cited a number of incidents where soldiers have harassed students.
//Cue in: "What happened is…
Cue out: …entrance of Mitchel"//
But in a rejoinder, the Defense Ministry Spokesperson, Brigadier Richard Karemire, says the army was invited by the management and will leave the same say. He advised the students to follow the right channels and raise their concerns with management.
The Education Committee Chairperson, Jacob Opolot has called for calm from students until the matter is resolved. He however, notes that the committee is opposed to the deployment of the military in the university.
Opolot says military police should be in charge of enforcing professionalism and discipline among soldiers and not students. He said as a committee they will look into the matter until it is resolved.