The Leader of the Opposition in Parliament, Betty Aol Ocan has called for the withdrawal of the military from Makerere university, whose students are currently protesting a fees hike.
Addressing journalists at Parliament on Thursday Aol condemned the way rioting students are being manhandled
“I am a mother; I am teacher and I feel so bad about what is happening to students. I hear people commending the University Chancellor for infrastructure development but this is not meaningful to us without the welfare of students,” said Aol.
Aol singled out a student only identified as Molly whom she said has been whisked from her hostel to an unknown place and brutally harassed.
“There is a lady called Molly who was taken to prison, she was then dismissed but she is now being trailed. Yesterday she was taken away from her hostel to somewhere where she was brutally beaten, she is now in the hospital,” added Aol
The Leader of Opposition believes the army is to blame for the level of reported brutality and they should withdraw.
“If the problem is money, it is Parliament to ensure increment in budget; it is the government to settle this matter. We don’t need the brutality of the army, let them pack and go,” noted Aol.
The UPDF however, insists its involvement in the chaos at Makerere is part of its mandate.
“The Uganda Police Force will continue to be supported by all sister security agencies to enforce law and order in the country,” said army spokesman Brig Richard Karemire.
Aol was flanked by the Shadow Minister for Education who is also the Masaka Municipality MP, Hon Mathias Mpuuga.
Mpuuga was surprised that the contentious policy on 15 percent tuition fees increment was never made known to Parliament.
“Fees increment should be guided by assessment of various factors; we need to properly understand the genesis of the purported increments. When Parliament resumes next week we shall address this to government to explain how this was arrived at and how eventually access to education is going to be affected by arbitrary fixing a figure that may permanently prevail over years,” said Mpuuga.
A group of female students from Makerere University on Tuesday October 22, 2019 led demonstrators in a march to present a petition to the office of the President over the 15 tuition fees increment policy.
They were however blocked at the University gate by the military.
The University has previously argued that the current tuition regime is insufficient to run the University enable it offer quality education.