Opposition political party, Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) has condemned last week’s night raid on Makerere University by the military during which students were allegedly brutalized, molested, battered and had their property vandalized by Police and UPDF soldiers.
Addressing the party’s weekly press conference at the party headquarters in Najjanankumbi, the party Spokesperson, Ibrahim Semujju Nganda noted that the party stands with all victims of the said raid including parents.
Semujju said that breaking into students’ rooms at night including those of females in halls of residence such as Mary Stuart, is the worst terror and humiliation any leader can visit on his people.
“Gen. Yoweri Museveni and his wife Janet Kataha, minister of education, must be ashamed of this barbaric behavior. Such raids last happened during Idi Amin and Milton Obote regimes. The UPDF has now officially been turned into a tool of suppression,” Semujju said.
The party stalwart said the raid on Makerere is akin to the invasion on courts to re-arrest released suspects and the 2017 raid on Parliament during the Age Limit amendment debate, all of which is done by security agencies.
“The country will and should hold individual UPDF officers behind these operations such as Maj. Gen. Muzeyi Sabiti (Acting Inspector General of Police) and Gen. David Muhoozi (Chief of Defence Forces) responsible for the brutality,” Semujju said.
Semujju said the reason students are striking is because they and their parents are unable to pay the 15% cummulative tuition increment the University imposed on them last year which increment will translate into 75% when fully implemented in 2023.
“The total amount Makerere expects from the 15% tuition increment this year is Shs4.56 billion. This is the money for which our children are being beaten for,” Semujju wondered.
It is puzzling that in the budget of 2019/20, President Yoweri Museveni’s budget for donations under State House rose from Shs 80bn to Shs 240bn yet the total budget of Makerere University remained at Shs 316bn of which government contributes about Shs 220bn and private students Shs 95bn, Semujju said.
The Opposition chief whip added that being a public university, funding of Makerere University should not be left to the students and their parents.
He said that part of the President’s donations budget should be given to Makerere and Mulago hospital.
He called upon the Vice Chancellor Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe to stop using high-handed methods when dealing with grievances of students,/adding that all suspended students must be allowed to unconditionally return to the University.
On the same note, he asked the Deputy IGP, Muzeyi Sabiti to immediately withdraw all UPDF soldiers from Makerere and ensure that the injured students are compensated.