Makerere University Vice Chancellor Prof Barnabas Nawangwe has met James Sebidde, a third year student with disability who was tortured by security operatives during strike against 15 percent tuition hike at the campus last month.
On one of nights during the two week strike, the military police raided students’ halls of residence where they flogged them with batons before destroying their properties worth millions of shillings.
The students with disabilities were not spared either. The affected students belonged to Lumumba, Mitchell and Mary Stuart halls.
Over the weekend, Prof Nawangwe met Sebidde, who was affected most by the ordeal and apologised to him. He offered to replace his damaged property.
“I met Mr. Ssebidde, a student with disability who lost property and was injured during student riots. I apologized to him and assured him that his damaged property will be compensated,” said Nawangwe.
The Vice Chancellor’s gesture follows last week’s advise from Parliament where he was told to engage in dialogue with students rather than use of force to solve tuition issue.
The legislators while meeting the Makerere University Council and Management on Wednesday 6 November, 2019 expressed their disappointment particularly with the Prof. Nawangwe in how he had handled the strikes at the university since beginning his tenure at the helm of the institution.
The education committee, chaired by Jacob Opolot was tasked by the House to investigate the circumstances surrounding the student strike at the university.
Opolot said that there has been a marked high-handedness of Prof. Nawangwe especially when it comes to him dealing with any dissent.
“You seemingly cannot entertain anyone who disagrees with you; when the lecturers demonstrated earlier this year you suspended some and now when the students demonstrated you suspended some of them even over social media posts,” Opolot said.
Bugiri Municipality MP Asuman Basalirwa advised that Nawangwe should instead talk to the students in a more cordial manner like some of his predecessors did.
“During my tenure as Guild President for Makerere, the vice chancellor then, Prof. John Ssebuwufu would always call me to his residence for a cup of tea and talk in case there was a strike; it did not mean we agreed but nobody got suspended,” added Basalirwa.
He urged the vice chancellor to engage the students more to diffuse the tension and asked him to allow open debates.
Do you have a story in your community or an opinion to share with us: Email us at email@example.com