Besigye Reveals Involvement in Makerere Standoff

FDC’s Col Dr Kizza Besigye has described as “disgraceful, patient ” Tuesday’s unprecedented closure of Makerere University by President Yoweri Museveni.

The president in a precise directive, prescription indefinitely closed the country’s largest learning institution, “to guarantee safety of persons and property”

This was after the students earlier in the day, erupted in a violent strike that spilled over to neighboring communities, while protesting the stalemate between the striking lectures, government and the university management. The lecturers have laid down their tools in demand for months of unpaid incentive allowances.

Dr Besigye this morning questioned President Museveni’s reasoning in closing the university and sending the students back home. The students by Tuesday morning were being forcedly evicted from their halls of residence by the Police.

Read Also: Kayihura Rushes to Makerere, Students Forcefully Evicted

While speaking in a televised interview on NBS Television this morning, Dr Besigye admitted that he was to a certain degree involved in the current standoff at the university, but denied the sole responsibility of the student violence.

Besigye said he is in touch with the students and their leaders, despite being confined by the police at his Kasangati house.

“I don’t have to be there with them but we are in touch. I can interact with anyone, even with the pubic here in my bedroom,” he said.

“I am not responsible for what is happening there right now but I have a direct stake in what happens at Makerere as a citizen, a political leader, and as a parent. I have a responsibility to engage in view of finding a solution,” he said.

Among others, Dr Besigye said he was mobilizing the students to resist leaving the university. This he termed as the “starting point.”

“For starters, the students must not go anywhere. They should stay there and organize. They shouldn’t allow to be dispersed. I am going to discuss with them the details. The starting point is to defy; both by staff, and the students,” said the former Presidential candidate.

Besigye proceeded to question Museveni’s reasoning to closing the university, and chasing away students, many of who have paid their tuition.

“That is Disgraceful,” he said.  “The contradiction at Makerere is not a big one. Earnings of people are a must; it is mandatory that you pay someone you employ. It’s not negotiable; if the month ends you pay. They are claiming for arrears. It’s not that there is no money, it is because it is being misused.

He added, “People have come and paid their money to the institution. Are they sending them with refunds? … You don’t just say, ‘close the university’ and put your signature and that’s the end of the story. Who are you to close the university when people have paid their money?”

In the long run, Dr Besigye said the student community and the lecturers must “look at the bigger picture to ridding the regime that doesn’t value education.”

“They don’t understand that any country depends on the level of education of its people and that they must invest and focus on the type of education the people get.”

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