Exams still on, no semester extension, says Nawangwe

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Makerere Vice Chancellor Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe has said examinations will continue as planned and no extension to the semester in respect of the current strike.

For close to one week, there have been demonstrations on Main Campus by students protesting the fees structure approved by Council in 2018. 

These demonstrations started after a meeting between the University Management and the Guild Representative Council. 

At that meeting, Management had conceded to practically all the student demands, including suspension of surcharges for late payment of fees and late registration. 

Victoria University

Management had however requested the students to await a meeting of Council, which would discuss the petition submitted to the Chairperson of Makerere University Council regarding the fees structure.

“As it were, the students were not patient enough to await the meeting of Council and decided to start demonstrations which culminated into riots,” Nawangwe said in a statement on Thursday.

On 29th October 2019, the University Council held an emergency meeting and decided to halt any further increment on functional fees, but kept the 15% increase on tuition fees for the next three years.

Nawangwe said this decision was apparently not acceptable to a section of the students and a few continued with their riots mostly off campus. 

“The situation on campus is gradually normalising.”

He said despite the isolated demos and riots, most of the University activities continued normally although the rioters managed to disrupt a few classes.

“Management wishes to thank the students and lecturers who continued with normal activities despite the isolated disruptions.  Management calls upon all students and staff to resume classes immediately.” 

He added: “Security for those carrying on with their duties will be provided.  Examinations will commence as planned on 18th November 2019 and there will be no extension to the Semester.”

Guild President still missing

Julius Kateregga, the Makerere Guild President, was confirmed missing by the Students Guild on Wednesday morning.

The statement said Kateregga was on his way back to the University from an NBS Talkshow to address the Students General Assembly when he was taken by unknown people.

The Office of the Guild President issued a press release saying they had organised the assembly so a collective course of action could be reached.

“…the president was abducted by unknown operatives and his whereabouts are still unknown. The police has up to now refused to record our missing persons report without any valid reasons.”

15 students arrested

It said police went ahead to fire bullets and teargas to disperse all that gathered for the Assembly. Many were arrested and are still detained.

Daily Monitor reported that several students fainted after police threw teargas canisters inside Kann Hostel in Kikoni neighbourhood.

Police officers raided the hostel on Prince Kimera Road and arrested an undisclosed number of students who were whistling from their rooms.

As the journalists left, police pickup trucks ferried students from the hostel to custody.

Prior to the raid, countless students, mostly girls, residing at the said hostel collapsed after inhaling teargas and were taken to Jovi Clinic on Sir Apollo Kaggwa Road.

Police later disclosed that the arrested students had been taken to Wandegeya Police Station and put their number at 15 students.

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