Makerere University has bowed to students’ pressure and lifted a suspension that had been imposed on their colleagues.
As tension reigned at the university campus Wednesday morning, University Vice Chancellor Prof John Dumba Sentamu announced that a committee has been instituted to look into the matter, and the students would return to class meanwhile.
A group of students early in the day attempted to start a strike at the University protesting the suspension. The enraged students were engaged in running battles with the police prompting the officers led by the chief security Jackson Mucunguzi to use tear gas to disperse them.
“We told them to demonstrate peacefully without disrupting business but they don’t want to listen. We have told them that the best way to resolve issues through dialogue but it seems they are interested in tear gas,” said Mucunguzi as he explained the use of tear gas.
As police battled to contain the situation, a meeting was held involving the Vice Chancellor, Prof. John Ddumba-Ssentamu, the Dean of Students Cyriaco Kabagambe, the Academic Registrar Alfred Masikye Namoah, the Guild President Roy Ssembogga and his cabinet.
“Following our meeting this morning between students and members of the University management, it has been agreed that the Vice Chancellor institutes an investigation into the situation for a comprehensive report, which will inform further action. In the meantime, all suspensions are withdrawn as further investigations take place,” a statement from Ddumba said.
The university had earlier suspended 15 students including their leaders for destruction of property during a strike at Mary Stuart and University Halls on October 19.
It is reported that the 15 led a group of students from Complex hall, Lumumba hall, and Mary Stuart in a protest against poor quality meals.
According to the reports, Lumumba hall chairman Gerald Kammanah and colleagues Wanyera Simon, Fahad Ndugwa, Joseph Mugume and Solomon Taremwa led students who raided Finland bar and restaurant services which was contracted to provide them meals, in a move which is against the university rules and regulations.