A section of Members of Parliament (MPs) have condemned excessive force used to quell the ongoing Makerere University tuition protests.
Gerald Karuhanga, a former guild president currently serving as Ntungamo municipality MP, intimated that the brutality meted on students so far was reminiscent of ugly scenes that followed the 1976 strike at the same facility.
He was referring to President Idi Amin’s security apparatus that violently quelled a strike at the campus during which one of its organizers a one Serwanga, a law student, was killed.
Karuhanga said 43 years later, it was a mistake for the current government to use the military to repeat mistakes of previous regimes.
“The incidents that have been happening in Makerere are exceedingly disturbing, unwarranted and very embarrassing to the sitting
government,” said Karuhanga.
However, he pointed out that this could be part of a bigger ploy by the National Resistance Movement (NRM) to silence dissenting voices
from different spheres of society totally.
He spoke this weekend at a press conference in Kampala.
The military personnel were captured on video footage clobbering students while forcing them out of their halls of residence.
Students could as well be seen pelting stones at security forces.
The students have been protesting a policy passed in 2018 by Makerere administration increasing tuition fees in a gradual process.
ChimpReports understands the riots which spread to different parts of Makerere left property worth millions of shillings destroyed.
On his part, Barnabas Tinkasiimire the Buyaga West legislator defended students, saying it was true that majority of their parents cannot
afford higher tuition fees.
Tinkasiimire said a considerable number of constituents cannot even
meet the normal fares of educating their children.
“The average households in my constituency is 300. There is no where I have found more than ten people answering that question in
affirmative,” he argued.
“What saved me was that I was admitted on government scholarship and to raise registration fees, my father had to first sell land
at Shs 200,000,” said Tinkasiimire.
The MPs have vowed to storm Makerere and protect students in the event military forces are not withdrawn by Monday.