Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Journalists covering the protests against the 15 percent tuition increment were on Friday ordered to delete footage of the arrest of students with disabilities.
Both Police and the Military stormed the guild offices where student leaders largely students with disabilities were addressing the press about several of their colleagues who were hospitalized following army and police raid on Thursday night.
In the middle of the press conference, security personnel comprising of police and the military ordered the students out of the room and directed the journalists to delete the footage.
Some gadgets belonging to the journalists were destroyed.
On Thursday night, heavily armed military officers stormed Lumumba Hall, one of the largest male students’ residences.
Students say more than 60 rooms were broken into and soldiers smashed the students’ properties as well as forcing the students to seek refuge outside the university.
Gerald Tunywane, a Guild Representative Councilor for Lumumba Hall said he was forced out of his room late at night.
The brutal arrest of students with disabilities by @PoliceUg at @MakerereU.
The Association of Students with Disabilities had organised a press conference to protest the brutality meted out a member of their association, journalist weren’t spared either.#FeesMustFall #Makerere pic.twitter.com/KSy2fSdteT
— MALCOLM X’s STUDENT. (@GodwinTOKO) October 25, 2019
VIDEO: The Police stop a press conference where student leaders were talking about the Makerere University Raid last night by Police. The students claim that their colleagues with Disabilities were also severely beaten even though it was evident that they were disabled #NTVNews pic.twitter.com/KwJddVX7tX
— NTV UGANDA (@ntvuganda) October 25, 2019
He said police would fire tire gas inside the hall premises and wait for students who escape the teargas through windows and arrest them.
Abas Luyombo, a student with disabilities representative at the students’ guild and 3rd-year student of law at Makerere described the situation at the university as regrettable.
Luyombo also denied claims by the university management that the strike was instigated by students looking for political gains.
Marion Kirabo, a 4th-year student of law and guild minister for gender, ethics and integrity said the military raids on student residences were done after they shut down the street lights at night.
According to Kirabo, there is a systemic administrative challenge at Makerere that government seems to be ignoring.
“Some people think it’s the students that are problematic but these were the same things that MUASA was fighting last year,” Kirabo said.
In a statement released by the university authorities on Thursday, Dr Muhammed Kiggundu Musoke, the university publicist said the fees increment policy was reached through a report by the special committee of the guild representatives and as such, students were fully consulted.
— Nabaye Tricia Gloria (@trishangloria) October 25, 2019
But Kirabo, who was part of the seven-member special committee, says the report was hijacked by university management who bribed her colleagues and immediately arranged a press conference for the students’ leaders to pronounce themselves in support of the increment.
Judith Nalukwago, the Vice Guild President says that unless increment is revoked, they are not shaken by what is happening to them.