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Parliament condemns brutality against Makerere University students

FILE PHOTO: Police brutality against Makerere University students

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Parliament has passed a motion condemning the recent brutality by security officers against Makerere University students protesting the 15 percent cumulative tuition increment.

This followed a motion tabled by the Igara West MP, Raphael Magyezi. He urged parliament to make a statement condemning acts of torture and brutality against students within university premises and those who tried to access the university.

It came after the Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga announced that the house will dedicate the first two hours of plenary on Thursday to discuss the unrest at Makerere University.

Other MPs led by the Mityana Municipality MP, Francis Zaake also informed the House that Makerere University Guild President, Julius Kateregga had been abducted by unknown security personnel on Wednesday afternoon.

Kateregga was last seen when he appeared for a morning talk show on NBS television. He among other things said that President Yoweri Museveni and Education Minister, Janet Museveni had been misinformed about the unrest at the university.

The Butambula County MP, Muwanga Kivumbi also claimed that female students have were attacked in private hostels in Kikoni and Nakulabye among other areas with claims of sexual harassment and destruction of halls of residence.

Kadaga asked the  Minister of State for Higher Education, John Chrysostom Muyingo  to respond to the reports of harassment and Kateregga’s disappearance.

Muyingo said that he learnt of Kateregga’s disappearance from the floor of the House.

He promised to do whatever is possible to ensure students, both on Campus and elsewhere are safe.

Oyam Woman MP,  Santa Alum  said that she was  surprised that Muyingo had feigned ignorance and yet the security personnel have continued to torture citizens, in breach of the Anti-Torture Act.

MPs  also asked the Ministries of Education, Internal Affairs and Defense to assure Makerere University students that the government will ensure that the brutality by security personnel stops with immediate effect.

Kadaga has directed the Education, Internal Affairs and Defense Ministries to ensure that even the students who have attended the proceedings of Parliament and others at the university are protected.

She asked Minister for Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities, Prof. Ephraim Kamuntu to ensure that his colleagues attend plenary on Thursday to respond to issues relating to the unrest at Makerere University.

Earlier, the house received a statement from Muyingo regarding the unrest at Makerere University while Jinja East MP, Paul Mwiru and Manjiya County MP, John Baptist Nambeshe presented a joint petition from 813 students from the university and the Guild President’s Association.

The students among others want Parliament to intervene in the matter, ensure management re-instates Mollie Siperia, the female student who was suspended for leading the demonstration on Tuesday last week.

They also demand the resignation of Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe as the Vice Chancellor of Makerere University.  MPs are expected to comment on Muyingo’s statement and the students’ petition later today.

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