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Security blocks Makerere students assembly

The main building at Makerere.

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | A joint security team comprising police and military personnel has blocked a procession of Makerere University Students who were due to convene a General Assembly at the freedom square.

The students leadership had called a General Assembly to discuss the ongoing standoff between the university management and staff, triggered by the suspension of leaders of staff associations.

The suspended officials areBennet Magara and Joseph Kalema both leaders of the Makerere Administrative Staff Association – MASA and Deus Kamunyu, the chairman of Makerere University Academic Staff Association – MUASA who were all accused of insubordination.

Kamunyu was separately accused of committing offenses under the Computer Misuse Act, incitement with intent to cause disobedience and undermine administration, intimidation of university officials using abusive and or insulting language and slander, among others.

But other members of staff have maintained that they will not return to work until the suspensions are lifted. Business at the university is, as a result, paralyzed. The student leaders are now faulting the management for the stalemate, which has seen them go without lectures for more than two weeks.

Yesterday, Makerere Guild Speaker Isaac Kwagala had invited the student’s body for a consultative assembly to take place today. In his communication, Kwagala said that student leaders had withdrawn all cooperation from the University management, which has deliberately chosen to deny the existence of a strike.

But the student leaders were met with police and military confrontation and denied access to the freedom square where they were due to meet. Several of them were arrested in the ensuing scuffle.

A number of them have now converged at Mitchell hall chanting slogans, demanding the resumption of lectures. The situation remains tense at the campus, with heavy police and military presence.

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