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Mbarara university students protest against lectures’ strike, clash with police

Police Putting out a burning tyre inside the University Photo Edson Kinene

Mbarara, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT |  Mbarara police have for the better half of the morning engaged in running battles with students of Mbarara University of Science and Technology (MUST) who staged a protest in the university.

Police led by the Mbarara city Police commander John Rutagira moved around the University chasing away rioting students and putting out burning tires in the campus.

The students some of whom had sticks crossed through the Referral Hospital which forced the Hospital Superintendent Celestine Barigye to call for deployment.

The protest comes a month after the semester officially started for both new and some continuing students.

There has been industrial action taken by public universities staff across the country.

The students have expressed their dissatisfaction with the on-going Academic Staff strike which has resulted in their not having classes for the last one and more month they have been at the university.

They are demanding for physical lectures and if on line they want the university to provide free internet.

They say they will keep up the protest until the university administration works on their demands.

Yesterday in the evening, the University’s Student Guild President-Elect, Mariam Iculet Arikosi held a closed-door meeting with the University Management and agreed upon five issues which she communicated to students in a letter.

Among the issues is the conducting of physical classes, extension of the semester with appropriate scheduling of lectures and exams, one-off supplementary exams during the academic year 2020/21 for individuals who missed final exams of Semester 2 Academic Year 2019/20, access to all university premises like Library, Computer Labs, physical classes, no additional tuition fees, functional fees and accommodation fees to people staying in University Halls of Residence.

Arikosi, asked students to exercise great restraint and logic in their next course of action to facilitate the steps taken.

Despite the meeting and the letter, the students remained defiant and held a protest.

Angella Nakato, the communications officer at Mbarara University of Science and Technology wasn’t readily available for comment.

John Rutagira the Police commander says they were called in to calm the students who had started to burn tyres and looked like it was not a peaceful protest.



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