Crime

Varsity guild presidents defy, hold Museveni at ransom

makerere

Makerere students confronting police during a recent strike (Photo: Kenneth Kazibwe/ChimpReports)

Guild Presidents of public universities have given President Yoweri Museveni a 14-day ultimatum to meet them or have another strike at his hands.

When Museveni closed Makerere University recently, he warned lecturers not to hold him at ransom promising to pay them their salaries.

Opposition leader Kizza Besigye, on the other hand, asked both lecturers and the student body to defy the president’s directive, which he considered “illogical”.

Currently, guild presidents of different universities in the country are planning to strike over the closure of Makerere University.

The student leaders maintain that the re-opening¬†of Makerere University is a top priority as government discusses a comprehensive plan to solve lecturer’s arrears.

Police has been arresting Makerere students who dare protest against the indefinite closure of the university.

On Monday, police arrested more students and locked them away.

Among those arrested was Simon Wanyera, a guild representative council of school of education who attempted to chain himself at the main gate.

The officer in charge of Makerere, Denis Kasibante, told Daily Monitor Wanyera had been detained at Wandegeya police station.

Wanyera was picked from Ham towers opposite Makerere university main gate with a chain and a pad lock, after which he was forcefully dragged to a police van.

Guild leaders lose tempers

Now guild presidents from all public universities are demanding to meet President Museveni to discuss challenges affecting public universities across the country.

The chairperson of Public Universities Student Leader’s forum also guild president for Gulu University, Robert Mukembo, told press that Museveni’s decision to close Makerere was hasty.

Mukembo revealed that Gulu University, MUBs and other universities share programmes with Makerere hence its closure affects them all.

The guild presidents from Kyambogo, Gulu, Makerere, MUBS and Busitema have threatened to mobilise students from other public universities to go home in solidarity if the President doesn’t meet them in 14 days.

Besigye has since criticised government for failing to pay Makerere University lecturers’ arrears amounting to Shs28bn yet they bailed out Crane Bank with Shs200bn.

Yesterday, President Museveni appointed a 9-member ‘Visitation Committee’ to probe into affairs of Makerere University.

The ‘Visitation Committee’ members are: Dr Abel Rwendeire (chairperson), Lady Justice Keturah Katunguka (deputy chairperson), Hon Tim Lwanga, Dr Florence Muranga, Dr Proscovia Sentamu, Mr John F.S. Muwanga, Dr Paul Musasizi, Dr Kisoro and Eng. Lumu.

 

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