President Yoweri Museveni has urged all stakeholders in Makerere University to dialogue and resolve the current impasse over the hike in tuition fees.
The President has also ordered the withdraw of the Military Police from the university following condemnation from the public that security agencies handled students with brutality.
The President’s appeal to dialogue comes a day after a planned meeting between the Makerere University Management and the students leadership hit a snag.
On Monday, the University Management was set to meet with the student leaders on Monday to discuss a common ground following a strike that began last week
Umar Kakumba, the Acting Vice Chancellor wrote to the Guild President inviting him to a meeting.
In response, the Guild President applauded the decision by the university Management to dialogue with the students but demanded as part of conditions, that the Management rescinds the suspension of some of the students that were part of last week’s demonstration.
The Guild President listed other demands including that the University Council be part of the meeting since it is the highest policy making body of the university and responsible for degazetting the tuition increment policy.
However, the meeting could not proceed after students turned violent and attempted to assault some of the university officials who had turned up in the meeting room. Police later intervened and asked everyone to vacate the room.
On Tuesday, the Presidential Press Secretary, Don Wanyama revealed in a shot statement that the President has urged stakeholders at Uganda’s biggest and oldest institution of higher learning “to dialogue and resolve whatever contradictions exist around the fees conundrum”.
“This morning, the President has spoken to the university council chair and the guild president, urging them to meet,” Wanyama said.
“He has also ordered the withdrawal of the military police from the university. The Uganda Police will maintain law and order”.
Since last week, the military has had several raids on students’ halls of residences, some conducted at night. Reports state that students were badly assaulted while videos showed armed soldiers flogging half naked students and and forcing them to roll their bodies on the tarmac.
According to Don Wanyama, the University Council is due to meet with the students Tuesday for dialogue.
The same was revealed by the University Guild President, Julius Kateregga in a post on social media on Tuesday.
The Guild President said he had spoken with President Museveni and briefed him on the affairs at the university as well as students’ grievances.
“Earlier today, I held a phone conversation with President Museveni to brief him on the status quo at the Hill and on the demands of the governed. He had been fed on falsehoods by some elements of University Management”.
“He instructed that University Council engages the Student Leadership, which they have heeded to. In a few minutes, the student leadership will be engaging Council, ” he said.
He said the outcomes of the meeting will be pronounced to the Students Body for a way forward.