Nawangwe has failed, he should resign - MPs

Sunday October 27 2019

A section of Members of Parliament have called for the resignation of Makerere University Vice Chancellor Prof Barnabas Nawangwe following a protracted student strike and subsequent ‘brutal’ arrests of students.

The call by MPs comes just days after armed military officers stormed Lumumba Hall, a male students’ residence and reportedly broke into about sixty rooms where they destroyed students’ property on top of beating them up as reported in the media.

The raid on the students’ hall was a subsequent of the students’ protest against a 15 per cent tuition increment, which is to be implemented as part of a policy which was passed by the University Council in June 2018.

The strike which started on Monday lasted four days.

The legislators while addressing the media on Saturday at Parliament said the developments at Makerere presently, are an indictment to the leadership of Prof 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.


Mr Gerald Karuhanga (MP Ntugamo Municipality) 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 and the best you can do as a government is to come with military men, with tanks to brutalize, torture and treat them in the most inhumane and degrading manner,” Karuhanga said.

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

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.

The House is expected to be recalled from recess next week for the legislators to debate on the matter on the floor of Parliament.

By Saturday evening, over 40 students who had been arrested during the strike were released on police bond as investigations into the matter continue. They had been detained at Wandegeya Police Station.

According to deputy Kampala Metropolitan Police spokesperson Mr Luke Oweyesigyire, while appearing on NTV last evening, there could be an external force that is driving the students to cause mayhem at the university.

“This policy was passed last year, the students would have protested it last then why are they coming now to demonstrate towards the end of the year. We think there are some external forces pushing this and that’s what we are investigating,” he said.