Top opposition party members arrested over attempted fundraising for MAK re-opening

Kawempe South MP Mubarak Munyagwa is among 20 people arrested in and around Makerere University as they tried to organise a fundraising drive for the reopening of the institution.

Others arrested include city councillors Doreen Nyanjura, Muhammad Ssegirinya, and Harris Justus Akampurira. Also picked up are Ingrid Turinawe, the FDC women's league chairperson, Simon Wanyera, a student of education at Makerere, Brian Katana, Wabulembo Robin and FDC activist Christine Bahimbisa.

President Yoweri Museveni ordered the indefinite closure of Makerere University on November 1st after lecturers and the administration failed to agree on payment of incentive money.

Three weeks into the closure, former FDC party president, Kizza Besigye, warned of protests should the government not open the university within 10 days. FDC party supporters began mobilizing for what they called a fundraising event to be held in Makerere's Freedom Square today.

At 7am today, Besigye shared a message on Twitter calling people to show up at Makerere of the fundraising: "D-Day!!! Campaign for Re-Open Makerere starts. Meeting is at 10am Freedom Square of Makerere University. Entrance-Main gate only. BE THERE!!"

The former presidential candidate left his home in Kasangati driving in a blue Toyota Townace truck that also carried a cow he planned to donate during the fundraising. He and party officials say they want to raise at least 30 billion shillings.

But by 7am police had deployed heavily at Makerere and all people driving or walking into the university were being subjected to lengthy searching.

At 11:23am, Besigye tweeted again: "Am being blocked from delivering my contribution of Guernsey Cow & UShs 3m. Will find a way!! Meantime, let's open online channels 4 pledges."

Jackson Mucunguzi, the University Chief Security Officer says the heavy deployment is aimed at securing the university from the hands of opportunists who want to play cheap politics.

Police maintains heavy deployment at the main gate.