Anti-riot police has have fired teargas to disperse angry students of Bukalasa Agriculture College in Luweero district.
The students took to the streets in Wobulezi town council this afternoon to protest the newly introduced late registration charge and high fees.
The students who were armed with placards beat heavy Police deployment at their College Campus to descend on Wobulenzi Town Council.
One of the placards read “we are tired of unfair charges and corruption”, “withdraw the charges now”.
They mounted blockades along the Gulu-Kampala Highway using logs and tables from roadside market paralyzing transport for over 30 minutes.
This prompted anti-riot police led Eugene Elwaru, the Officer in Charge of Luweero Police Station to five bullets and teargas to disperse the students.
During the clashes, Police picked up scores of students and locked them at Wobulenzi Police Station. Felix Obet, the Minister Without Port Folio Bukalasa Agriculture College Guild Council says the students resorted to the strike when they sought redress from the administration about 17 complaints in vain.
He lists some of the complaints as the newly introduced policy requiring students to pay Shillings 50,000 extra should they fail to clear tuition by mid semester as late registration fee.
Obet says they want the university to streamline the fees structure because it is unfair for a student who is pursuing a certificate to pay 1.2 million Shillings whereas a diploma student pays 1.3 million Shillings.
Other students who spoke to URN on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisal from the College administration complained other charges that include commitment, photocopying and development fees totaling to 214,000 shillings.
Christine Anyait, the Principal Bukalasa Agriculture College has not yet commented on the strike and issues raised by the students as she was away from the school and her known mobile number was switched off.
Other senior administrators such as the registrar Emmanuel Adengo were locked up in an emergency meeting by the time of filing this story.
However, Eugene Elwaru, the Officer in Charge of Luweero Police Station told URN shortly after the meeting with the administrators that they had advised management to call for fear that the students could turn violent and destroy school property.
Lameck Kigozi, the Savannah Regional Police spokesperson says Anti –riot Police was forced to open fire after the students the busy highway and threatened to destroy people’s property.
According to Kigozi, Police is mediating between the administration and students to end the grievances peacefully.
He declined to reveal the identities of the students being held in Police custody saying they were still hunting for the ringleaders of the strike.
By the time of filing this story, some of the students were still hiding in Wobulenzi town council for fear of being arrested.
Recently, Ndejje and Makerere University students also went on strike to protest increment of late registration fees and compulsory payment of tuition within six weeks.
Makerere University bowed to pressure and withdrew the directive but Ndejje university slapped a penalty of 227,850 Shillings for the damages caused during the strike.