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Law students ask High Court to order Makerere reopening

Makerere Vice Chancellor Dr Ddumba talks to officials moments before the university was closed.
Makerere University Vice Chancellor, Prof. Ddumba Sentamu (2L) talks to other officials and security personnel moments before the university was closed.

A group of six students from the Makerere Law School have gone to the High Court seeking orders to immediately re-open the university that was closed on November 1, 2016.

Sam Ssekyewa, Moses Mushime, Francis Kibombo, Cissy Nabatanzi, Emmanuel Kanyesigye and John Robert  Turyakira claim that President Yoweri Museveni  exceeded his legal mandate to order for the closure of Makerere University because such powers are vested in the University Council.

The students contend that their right to education and  careers are now at stake  due to the uncertainty of the opening date of their university.

Ssekyewa, who led the students,  says  they have chosen to challenge the president’s directive in court in order to enforce “their abused  rights and to permanently bar the president from usurping the powers of
the university council”.

The case has been filed against the Visitor of Makerere University who is President Museveni, the University itself and the Attorney General. They are expected to be summoned to respond to the students’ suit.

The students who have petitioned.
The students who have petitioned.

After the closure, Museveni appointed former minister Dr Abel Rwendeire to lead a Visitation Committee to inquire into affairs of the closed university.

Dr Abel Rwendeire is chairperson, while Lady Justice Keturah Katunguka is deputy. Members are Tim Lwanga, Dr Florence Muranga and Dr Proscovia Sentamu, F.S. Muwanga, Dr Paul Musasizi, Dr Kisoro and Eng. Lumu. They start work immediately.

“In exercise of powers vested to me, I have appointed the following Visitation Committee to inquire into affairs of Makerere University,” Museveni said in a statement on Monday.

Meanwhile, another group of students have met the First Lady, who is Minister in charge of Education, Janet Museveni, appealing to her to re-open the institution.

The First Lady however insists that the closure will enable them to unearth Makerere’s problems and resolve them.

 

 

 

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