By Ronald Nahabwe
Najjanankumbi: Forum for Democratic Change (FDC), one of the leading opposition political parties in Uganda has condemned the raid and brutality of Makerere University students by Police and Uganda Peoples Defence Forces (UPDF).
While addressing the media in a weekly presser held at the party headquarters in Najjanakumbi, Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda the party spokesperson revealed that FDC Stands with all victims including their parents.
Ssemujju said that breaking into rooms at night including those of female students in halls of residence such as Mary Stuart, was the worst terror and humiliation any leader can do to his people.
‘’Gen. Yoweri Museveni and his wife Janet Kataha, the minister of education, must be ashamed of this barbaric behavior. Such raids last happened during Idi Amin and Milton Obote regimes. The UPDF has now officially been turned into a tool of suppression.” he said.
He added “It is UPDF that invades court, Parliament and now Makerere. The country will and should hold individual UPDF officers behind these operations such as Maj. Gen. Muzeyi Sabiti (acting Inspector General of Police) and Gen. David Muhoozi (Chief of Defence Forces) responsible for the brutality.
“The reason students are striking is because they and their parents are unable to pay the 15% annual tuition increment the University imposed on them last year. This increment will translate into 75% when fully implemented in 2023.
The total amount Makerere expects from the 15% tuition increment this year is Shs 4.56 billion. This is the money for which our children are being beaten for,” Ssemujju said.
Ssemujju went on to say that In the budget of 2019/20, Museveni increased money for donation under State House from Shs 80 billion to Shs 240 billion. The total budget of Makerere remains Shs 316 billion of which government contributes about Shs 220 billion and private students Shs 95 billion.
“Makerere is a public university which should not be abandoned to the students and their parents. Part of the money Museveni gives himself for donation should be given to Makerere and Mulago,” he stated.
Ssemujju advised the Vice Chancellor of Makerere, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe to stop using highhanded methods when dealing with grievances of students.
“All suspended students must be allowed to unconditionally return to the University and Muzeyi Sabiti must immediately withdraw all UPDF soldiers from Makerere. Police and UPDF must compensate all injured students and pay for their vandalized belongings. We commend students for use of none violence methods to voice out their grievances. That is what all citizens must do” Ssemuju said.
Makerere University students are protesting against the 15% tuition increment policy. This came into effect following a recommendation by the 2017/2018 Guild leadership which voted in favor.