Cases stall as prosecutors enter second day of strike

By Sania Babirye

As a strike by state prosecutors enters day two more cases continues to stall before different courts today in Kampala.

At Nakawa magistrate court  grade one magistrate Noah Sajabi has been forced to  adjourn the case in which  20 people are charged with  the murder of  former AIGP Andrew Felix Kaweesi to the 26th of July 2017 due to absence of state prosecutors.

The suspects had returned for mention of their case and find out the stages of investigations so that they can be committed to the high court for trial.

However the suspects were further remanded to Luzira prison since there was no prosecutir to communicate how far the investigations into the case have reached.

MAK students Vow to continue striking after release from prison

By Moses Kidandi
The four Makerere University Students who had been imprisoned for staging a strike that resulted into the closure of the university say they are resuming the campaign to press Government to open the campus.
 
Ronald Ainebyona, Paul Kato, Crispers Wasswa and Edmond Mugabi were released by Buganda road court last week after being locked up for  involvement in a students strike at Makerere University that resulted to the closure of the institution .
The students strike followed a seat down strike by lecturers demanding for  unpaid incentives amounting to 28bnshs.
Ainebyona says that though they have spent three weeks in prison, they are to continue fighting for their rights and demand for education.

Kigezi college students strike over poor meals

There is heavy anti-riot police deployment at Kigezi College Butobere in Central Division in Kabale Municipality to avert another student’s strike and interclass clashes. Trouble started on Monday evening when senior two, three, five and six students rejected supper, saying it was of poor quality.

The students also declined to go for preps. Collins Tushabe, a senior two student, says they are tired of eating poor quality posho. According to Tushabe, their pleas to the school administration to change the quality of meals served to students hasn’t yielded results.

During the ensuing chaos, senior three students also ganged up against their senior four colleagues accusing them of indiscipline. Paul Muhwezi, a senior three student, says they used the chance to mobilise and revenge against the senior four candidates for mistreating them throughout the year.

Joab Mwebesa, a senior six candidate told URN this morning that he saw senior four candidates collecting stones, which they later hurled at their school mates leading to clashes.

It took the intervention of anti-riot police to disperse the two parties. Joseph Twiine Muganga, the Head Teacher Kigezi College Butobere, says they were forced to alert police when the situation spiraled out of control.

He says they don’t have any alternative for meals apart from serving the available posho.

Ely Maate, the Kigezi Region Police Spokesperson, says police will maintain presence at the school until the situation normalizes.

By the time of filling this story several students were seen loitering around the school compound amidst heavy police deployment as their senior four colleagues were writing their Computer exams.

Makerere staff promised November salary despite closure

Government has said staff at Makerere University will still receive their November salary despite the closure.

Dr. Rose Nassali Lukwago, the Permanent Secretary to the Ministry of Education and Sports said in her November 14 letter to the University Secretary, Charles Barugahare, that despite the indefinite closure, staff were not dismissed and were still entitled to their monthly pay.

“I wish to clarify that staff have not been dismissed, therefore the University is obliged to pay them salaries within the existing rules and regulations of payment for salaries,” read Dr. Nassali’s letter in part.

Barugahare had on November 10 written to Dr. Nassali Lukwago seeking clarification on the procedure of processing payments for staff at Makerere.

The university was closed 17 days ago through a presidential directive following successive strikes by both the academic staff and students.  The staff were demanding their incentive arrears of over 28 billion shillings that had accumulated since February this year.

Since the closure, all offices were closed and staff were asked to park all university cars and hand in their keys. The university has since operated with a skeletal staff in the top management offices which according to the Eng. Dr. Charles Wana-Etyem, University Council chairman, are to coordinate communication between government and the University.

Staff were also banned from travels both inland and abroad on behalf of the University.

Government has since appointed a nine-member Visitation Committee to investigate the challenges that led to the closure of Makerere University.

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Ndejje University administration ignores court order, suspends students

Ndejje University has defied an interim court order to readmit four suspended students.  In August this year, Ndejje University suspended four students for two years for their alleged involvement in a strike, which led to destruction of property.

They include Steven Nuwamanya, the Guild Speaker Ndejje University, Phionah Kukunda and Ferdinand Ampaire and Felix Atuhaire. The four were part of 200 students who were fined Shillings 750,000 each for their involvement in the strike.

The students protested their suspension, saying the punishment is unjust and violates the sole purpose for their enrollment at the university. On November 11, 2016, Beatrice Atingu Stella, the Assistant Registrar of the High Court Civil Division issued orders restraining Ndejje University, its servants or agents and any persons from preventing the students from accessing the University campus, and sitting examinations until their application is determined.

However, Eriabu Lugujjo, the Vice Chancellor Ndejje University, says they can’t readmit the students since they don’t fulfill the requirement of attending 75 percent of their classes, adding that they can neither sit exams since they haven’t done the two required tests. He also said the students have not paid fee.

Lugujjo wondered which degree the students would be getting once they are readmitted.  He said the university has discretion to determine the kind of punishment administered to students. “If you commit an offence, and you are given a punishment for it should you reject it saying it is too much. The institution gave several students different punishments but these four decided to go to court,” he said.

According to Lugujjo, the university legal team will look at the extent of the matter and advice accordingly. The affected students, say the university must make special arrangements to enable them catch up with their course mates.

Yasin Sentumbwe, a member of the Students Activism Forum Uganda has backed the students and advised the university to abide by the court order. He says the question of students not sitting certain tests shouldn’t arise since it is the university that suspended them.

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MAK students strike over Administration’s failure to fix lecturers issues

Makerere University students resolved last evening to stage massive demonstrations this morning to protest the failure by the administration to compel lecturers to teach them. The students made the resolution in an emergence meeting convened by the Guild Council at Makerere University main hall on Monday night.
The resolution came shortly after the General Assembly of lecturers under Makerere University Academic Staff Association-MUASA voted unanimously to maintain their ongoing strike over the none payment of their salary incentives for the last eight months. During the MUASA General Assembly, Roy Ssemboga, the Makerere University Guild President, pleaded with the lecturers to resume teaching in vain.

As a result, the Student Guild led by Ssemboga convened the Guild Council to chat a way forward. During the meeting, student leaders resolved to storm the main university building this morning to express their dissatisfaction since they have run out of options.

“We are in a tricky position now, we must do all we can to make sure the university doesn’t close tomorrow. For everyone’s information here, council will be sitting at 8:00 am and I am informed that they might close the university. My appeal to you is that let us go mobilize our fellow students so that by 7:00 am, we are at the main building,” Jothan Yamureebire Burobuto, the Guild Prime Minister said.

The guild council moved a resolution supporting the motion to stage a demonstration. Shortly after, Roy Ssemboga, the Makerere University Guild President, said he had received a phone call from the University council chairman, Eng. Charles Wana-Etyem, saying president Museveni had issued a blank cheque to resolve the issues at the university.

By 11pm last nights, students in different halls of residences such as Lumumba, Livingstone, Nkrumah and Nsibirwa halls were locked up in meetings to discuss the anticipated closure of the university. Our reporter saw students donning their red gowns moving around to mobilise their colleagues for the anticipated uprising their morning.

Our reporter couldn’t speak to any member of the administration about the student’s resolution by the time of filing this story.

 

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MAK Vice chancellor cancels suspension of students who protested against poor meals

Makerere University Vice Chancellor Prof John Ddumba Ssentamu has revoked the suspension of 15 students who were accused of masterminding a protest against provision of poor-quality meals.

The students were suspended yesterday for reportedly invading the University Hall kitchen serving centre on Tuesday October 18, and destroying property. Their suspension triggered a wave of other protests by university students faulting the administration of being arbitrary and unfair to their colleagues.

As tensions mounted, the University Vice Chancellor Prof John Ddumba Sentamu held a meeting with student leaders to resolve the standoff. The meeting was attended by among others, the Dean of Students Cyriaco Kabagambe, the Academic Registrar Alfred Masikye Namoah, Frank Mwesigwa the commander Kampala Metropolitan Police and Makerere Chief Security Officer SP Mucunguzi Jackson.

The student’s led by the Guild President Roy Ssembogga pleaded for reconsideration to allow the suspended students back to campus.

The Vice Chancellor based on the pleas to announce that the directive will be cancelled. The meeting which took place at the council room at Makerere University resolved that students  be called back as investigations take shape.

“I am going to write to the individual students who were suspended informing them of the decision. But the committee has already been constituted to investigate the involved students,” Prof. Ddumba said.

The affected students include: Gerald Wabugoya, Fahad Ndugwa, Joseph Mugume, Solomon Taremwa, Francis Kayira, Timothy Mambule, Justus Ayesiga and Simon Wanyera. Others are, James Kagenyi, May Francis Abit, Samuel Kigula, Rashid Kassim Njaliira, Rogers Ashabahebwa, Aziz Tworo and Donart Nayebare.

Earlier, their lawyer Isaac Semakadde had sought audience with the Vice Chancellor over the same.

Ssemakadde, an advocate with Centre for Legal Aid, said that the university needed to rescind the decision on ground that an investigative suspension cannot be for an indefinite period.

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KABALE: A STRIKE HAS CLAIMED A STUDENT’S LIFE

A student has died of injuries he sustained  during a strike at Bubare Secondary School the western district of  Kabale.

15-year-old Wycliffe Turyamutunga, a senior three student was among five students who were allegedly  hacked by residents of Bubare subcounty  following a violent student’s strike.

He died at Kabale Regional Referral Hospital  where he was rushed for treatment.

Four other students are still undergoing treatment in hospital.

The students reportedly went on rampage protesting the transfer of one of the teachers and the management decision to fire one of their favorite cook.

Ely Maate, the Kigezi Regional Police spokesperson, says police are hunting for the residents behind the attack on the students.