Fort Portal, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Students of Mountains of the Moon University in Fort Portal tourism city took to the streets on Monday to protest the failure of their lecturers to show up.
Led by their Guild President Osbert Alinda, the more than 1,000 students tried to lead a procession from their campus to the central business district but police intercepted them at the Fort Portal main roundabout.
A team of police officers led by Emmy lorica, the Officer in Charge of Fort Portal central police station blocked the students from using the busy Nyakaana road that hosts Kabaundaire market.
They fired teargas and live bullets to disperse the growing number of students who were carrying placards heading to the city center.
Three students including the guild president sustained injuries after being brutalized by the police.
Alinda told journalists that they have not had any lectures since the academic calendar started on December 1, 2021.
He explains that the academic staff has neither showed up nor opened the staff room almost three weeks after the Christmas holidays.
According to students, only the accounts office is open at the university while the rest remain closed without any genuine explanation from the management.
Martin Birungi, one of the students says that once they delay paying tuition, the university slaps them with a surcharge yet it doesn’t compensate them for missed lectures.
Robins Muhindo, a student on government loan said that lecturers have repeatedly laid down their tools since 2018, which affects students.
Other students say their parents are bitter with them for failing to complete their courses on time since 2018.
They say the lectures told them they would not be able to return to the university until the government gazettes it as a public institution.
The University vice-chancellor, Professor John Kasenene declined to comment on the student protest, saying he was busy in a meeting discussing similar matters.
Last year, parliament approved a proposal to turn Mountains of the Moon University into a public university. However to date, the resolution is yet to be implemented.