The Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) has arrested Capt. Ronald Lubeera, a senior army officer who commanded the military police detach that brutalized Makerere University students following a protest against the 15 per cent tuition increment.
UPDF Spokesperson Brig Richard Karemire has on Friday confirmed the development saying investigations into the officer’s conduct are underway.
Capt. Lubeera is currently detained at the Military Police Headquarters in Makindye.
“A Board of Inquiry led by Lt Col Richard Ochen Okum has been established to look into what exactly happened,” Karemire said.
Early this week, President Yoweri Museveni ordered the army out of Makerere University that had been deployed to subdue the demonstrations.
Museveni’s order followed his telephone call to the University Council chair and the Guild president Julius Kateregga on Tuesday, according to his Press Secretary Don Wanyama.
“This morning, the President has spoken to the university council chair and the guild president, urging them to meet. He has also ordered the withdrawal of the military police from the university. The Uganda Police will maintain law and order,” said Wanyama.
The development came hot on the heels of US government’s statement condemning the heavy-handed response by the Uganda security operatives against the striking students.
“The US Mission in Uganda is increasingly concerned about the violence at Makerere University in response to ongoing protests against the proposed tuition increases. Footage of security services attacking unarmed students in their residence halls and attacks on journalists covering the protests are especially disturbing,” the Mission said in a statement issued on Monday October 28, 2019.
“This heavy-handed response by security services is uncalled for, and is a direct affront to the freedoms of assembly, speech and expression guaranteed by
Uganda’s constitution. We urge the Government of Uganda to allow Ugandans to exercise their basic rights peacefully without fear.”
Since last week, Makerere University students have been protesting against the 15 per cent tuition increment. They demand that it should be scrapped on grounds that it is unfair to privately sponsored students.
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