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Mak student activist leader beaten, hospitalized

Siperia Mollie Saasiraabo. PHOTO via @IAmSegawa

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT  | Unknown people have attacked Makerere University student activist Siperia Mollie Saasiraabo.

Saasiraabo who is also the Guild Representative Councillor for the School of Psychology was attacked on Wednesday night near Complex Hall.

The student leader was together with other 14 female students handed letters of suspension from the university for allegedly inciting violence by Professor Eria Hisali, the Principal College of Business and Management Sciences and Gordon Murangira, the Personal Assistant to the Vice-Chancellor.

The students had participated in a protest against the 15 per cent tuition increment, which is being implemented as part of a policy, passed by the University Council in June 2018.

Annah Ashaba, Saasiraabo’s close friend and neighbour at the Kikoni based Makerere International Students hostel (MISH) said she managed to rush the student to the clinic at around 9:40 pm.

“I went to take a shower at hostel, leaving my roommate there. And on returning, a gentleman [Joel, our classmate] was standing by the door of my room. I asked him what the matter was and he pointed to Mollie who was lying unconscious on the carpet in the room,” Ashaba says.

Saasiraabo is currently seeking treatment at International Medical Centre-IMC in Wandegeya.

Ashaba, however, wonders how Saasiraabo could have ended up near Kasubi tombs.

Marion Kirabo, the friend says that she doesn’t know who could be behind the attack.

Before the incident, students had been engaged with security agencies in running battles as they called for the cancellation of the fees increment and reinstatement of their suspended colleagues.

As a result, more than 100 students were arrested including the Guild Speaker Ezra Byakutangaza and the Guild President Julius Kateregga.

On Thursday, Professor Barnabas Nawangwe, the Vice-Chancellor sent out a message denying any fees increment at Makerere University this Academic Year.

“For two days, a group of Mak students has been leading mini demonstrations on campus, claiming they are protesting against non-existent fees increment. Apparently strategizing and positioning themselves for the next Guild elections,” says Nawangwe.

But Kirabo accuses the university management of failing to listen to students pleas.

Kirabo says while they were being detained at Wandegeya Police Station, they were served suspension letters from the university by Professor Eria Hisali, the Principal College of Business and Management Sciences and Gordon Murangira, the Personal Assistant to the Vice-Chancellor.

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