Teargas as Great Lakes varsity closes over strike

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Police deployed at Great Lakes University Kanungu campus [Photo credit: Nato K Comrade]

Authorities in Kanungu district have shut down Great Lakes Regional University over a violent students strike.

The institution was closed on Tuesday after angry students stormed the administration block and attempted to vandalise it.

The strike had entered the second day having started on Monday as students demanded Identity Cards from Nkumba University.

Police was forced to use tear gas when students forced their way to into trading centres with intent to loot people’s property.

Police used rubber bullets to disperse the rowdy students who were armed with stones and clubs.

Joab Wabwire, the Kanungu District Police Commander, said the students wanted to cause damage on the university structures.

Ambrose Niwagaba, the new guild president, says they have been making several making communications to Nkumba University asking for IDs to no avail.

Students are also accusing the administration of awarding them with fake documents and charging them Shs 400,000 to cover the cost of each identity card.

The class of 2015 and 2016 alumni, according to Uganda Radio Network [URN] were asked to pay Shs 600,000 each before they can be given their academic transcripts.

All 375 students who completed in 2015 and 34 who completed in 2016 academic years have not yet received their academic transcripts.

Niwagaba further said the students plan to drag the university administration to court since the strike has failed to yield any impact.

Bernard Akarambuzi, the academic registrar, later displayed a notice from the office of the vice chancellor ordering the closure of the university until further notice.

The notice also ordered students to have vacated the university premises by 6pm.

Dr George Tumwesigye, the university vice chancellor, said the administration will first sit to determine when the students will report back.

The campus, affiliated to Nkumba University, was founded by Dr Hamlet Kabushenga, the former Kinkizi East Member of Parliament.

Source: URN