The Student Life of Makerere's Teargas Maker

Samuel Mugarura was admitted in 2013 to do a bachelor of science in Ethno-botany as a privately sponsored student under registration 13/U/8329/PS. A statement from the Academic Registrar indicates that, as of September 27, 2016, Mugarura only has results for Year One and Two with seven retakes.
Mugarura Samuel's partial results as signed by the Academic Registrar

Audio 3

The media has been awash with stories of a Makerere University student who reportedly made teargas from sugar, sucrose and food colour.

Just over a week ago, Samuel Mugarura, a third year student of Ethno-Botany went ahead to make a demonstration of his innovation in Kajjansi, outside Kampala.

Mugarura said his teargas is less toxic compared to the type used by the police to disperse crowds.

Makerere University has on several occasions disowned Mugarura saying he did not consult any of his tutors and so they did not look at his research or confirm his innovation.

Unlike the Kiira EV and Kayoola Bus, both electronic vehicles made by students from the College of Engineering, Art, Design and Technology (CEDAT), it appears the university has not warmed up to Mugarura's innovation.

The police has in the same line been claiming that Mugarura has criminal cases to answer and that his claims to make teargas are diversionary only aiming at public sympathy.

Mugarura is now a suspect with scheduled mandatory reporting to Law Development Centre (LDC) court in Kampala.

But who is Samuel Mugarura?

Mugarura was admitted in 2013 to do a bachelor of science in Ethno-botany as a privately sponsored student under registration 13/U/8329/PS.

Throughout his time at Makerere University, Mugarura has been involved frequently in a number of strikes that he became known to the police authorities.

Collins Namara Rutaitsire, a third year student of Law confirmed Mugarura's activism and his involvement in student's strikes. Namara is a Guild Representative Council (GRC) member for Makerere University Hall (UH) where Mugarura formerly resided.

Mugarura's activism, according to Namara, earned him the nickname ‘Falcao'. He describes hime as an extrovert who believes in hope for tomorrow, but declines to call him a criminal.

Cue in: "In my opinion…

Cue out: …what is right."//

Because of his frequent participation in strikes, Mugarura has often been in and out of police cells.

Currently he is facing charges of assault that was recorded at Wandegeya Police Station under MCB 027/2016. This case is being handled by LDC court.

Recently, police at Makerere University opened a file against him owing to his alleged possession of opium and other suspicious property recorded under file MUK CRB 212/2016.

Born in April 1993 to Benon Arinaitwe and Molly Kyoheirwe in Buyanja Rukungiri district,

Mugarura went to Buyanja Grammar School for his primary education. He later joined Makobore High School for his Ordinary Level before moving to Kajansi Progressive School for his Advance Level.

His family migrated from Rukungiri to Kazo parish in Kiruhura district.

Mugarura scored 18 points at A 'Level and was admitted in 2013 for a Bachelor of Science in Ethno-Botany. He says he wanted to do Medicine at Makerere but was never admitted on that course.

On Sunday September 25, Mugarura demonstrated what he described as teargas in the company of scribes and since then, the authorities have said his innovation that it is a threat to national security.

Mugarura has since claimed that he received threats from state agents whom he said were trailing him.

Jackson Mucunguzi, the chief security officer Makerere University, however, denies any threats from police against Mugarura. Mucunguzi noted that the student has numerous cases.

Cue in: "As police, we have…

Cue out: …to do it."//

Mucunguzi further said that he personally supports innovation and would not be involved in any witch-hunting of a student. He however pointed out that with the nature of his cases, he needs mental rehabilitation which the police is willing to assist with.

Cue in: "When you see…

Cue out: …and productive Ugandan."//

It is believed that Mugarura's constant participation in the strikes at the university and his run-ins with the police has affected his academic performance.

A statement from the Academic Registrar indicates that, as of September 27, 2016, Mugarura only has results for Year One and Two with seven retakes. A student gets a retake when they fail to score 50% which is the pass-mark for undergraduate programmes.

Mugarura however denies all those retakes saying; "I only have 3 retakes and I have registered to re-do them this semester. Others I did not do the papers but I have registered for them."

Dr. Ipulet Perpetua, the head of department of Plant Sciences, Microbiology and Biotechnology under the College of Natural Sciences (CONAS) , says that if he Mugarura was consistently studying, he would be among those preparing to graduate in January 2017 because he has technically finished his three-year course.

University policy on retakes

According to the Makerere University Prospectus 2007/2010, a student ceases to belong to Makerere when he scores below a Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) of 2.0. 

Mugarura currently has 2.10 and therefore remains a student.  A student is placed on probation progress when he/she is less than 2.0.

"When a student accumulates three consecutive probations based on CGPA, he/she shall be discontinued," reads a prospectus article 28 on discontinuation.

It further reads that, "A student who has overstayed in an academic programme by more than 2 years shall be discontinued from his or her course."

In addition, a student who fails to obtain at least the pass mark of 50% during the third assessment in the same course or courses he/she had retaken is discontinued from his or her studies at the university. 

Images 2