By Peter Ssebulime
Kampala: Police have launched investigations into the involvement of political actors and activists in the Makerere University students’ strikes that left several students injured and others arrested.
Fred Enanga the police spokesperson, while speaking to media in Kampala, said that they have information that politicians and activists have been funding the students’ strike.
He added that their leaders are alleged to have been withdrawing money from a mobile money agent in Wandegeya and the police already have a list of these ones.
Enanga said that “Among the 39 students who were arrested we found out that 7 of them are not students of Makerere University and are currently in police cells. They include Lumala Deo, Otim Derrick, Kaliisa George, Ssenyomo Fahad, Kalangira Kenton, Biriyo David and Okendo Jethulo.”
Enanga confirmed that there was a joint security operation conducted by officers guarding Makerere University within the students’ Halls of residence like Marry Stuart, Lumumba, and Mitchell, where they arrested several students who are no longer part of Makerere University, like the former chairman of Mitchell hall Balonda Polly, who was allegedly arrested with narcotics.
Enanga added that “A joint security team of Uganda Peoples Defence Forces (UPDF) and Police will maintain their presence within the University to ensure that there are no further protests.”
The students’ strike started on Tuesday, October 22 and continued up to Friday 25th 2019. The students protested against the 15% tuition increment being implemented as part of a policy passed by the University Council in June 2018.
The strikes disrupted business at the institution and on Monday the University Management, through the first Deputy Vice-Chancellor in charge of Academics, Professor Umar Kakumba, called for meeting with the students’ guild leadership to resolve the problem, although the students snubbed the meeting, saying that although they are ready for dialogue, the Management has to first scrap off the 15% tuition increment before they can sit on the round table for talks.
However, the police did not divulge details about their alleged political actors in the MUK strikes, although Enanga noted that they are still conducting investigations.