A number of people have condemned the manner in which Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) arrested Victoria University Vice-Chancellor, Dr Lawrence Muganga.
The Leader of Opposition in Parliament Mathias Mpuuga condemned the manner in which the top academic was roughed up before his students and staff.
The vice-chancellor of the private Victoria University was taken in broad daylight on Thursday at the facility’s main building on one of the busiest streets in the capital, Kampala. Amateur video posted on social media showed plain-clothes gunmen forcing Dr Muganga into a drone van.
Appearing on NBS TV’s Frontline show yesterday night, Mpuuga said the army should have handled Dr Muganga’s arrest in a more civilized manner.
“The VC of a University is not a small person. The technical thing was to inform the public instead of reacting to social media,” Mpuuga who is also the Nyendo-Mukungwe Member of Parliament told UPDF Spokesperson Brig Flavia Byekwaso who was appearing on the same political talk show.
Following Dr Muganga’s arrest, Brig Byekwaso revealed,” “He was arrested by joint security forces in connection with espionage and illegal stay in the country. Investigations into the matter have commenced.”
She added on NBS’ Frontline that Muganga doesn’t have a Ugandan passport. Thursday night, it emerged Dr Muganga has a Ugandan national ID as well as a Canadian Passport.
One of President Museveni’s media supporters, Independent magazine Andrew Mwenda lambasted Uganda’s security agencies for employing uncivilized methods, comparing Muganga’s arrest to Idi Amin’s goons.
“Why do Ugandan security agencies use methods last employed by Idi Amin’s goons to arrest people? Couldn’t they have invited Lawrence Muganga, the vice-chancellor of Victoria University, to police for questioning and then detain him? What is so hard with acting civilized?” – Andrew Mwenda.
Mr Frank Gashumba, Social activist and coordinator of Sisimuka Uganda organisation, who has worked with Dr Muganga on fighting for rights and dignity of Banyarwanda ethnic group in Uganda baptised Abavandimwe, said, Muganga cannot be accused of illegal stay in Uganda because he is “100% a Uganda; born and raised.”
“If the spokesperson of the UPDF can allege that he was brutally arrested on allegations that he had overstayed in Uganda, this madness is beyond!”
Gashumba added, If at all he committed a crime, why would military operatives beat, and humiliate him before his staff and students”.
Dr Muganga is the author of YouC an’t Make Fish Climb Trees: Overcoming Educational Malpractice through Authentic Learning. He attained his PhD from the University of Alberta. He is married to Eve and has seven children.
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