Following a stabbing on Thursday at the final rally for the guild elections, Makerere University Council suspended guild elections.
Makerere University Council has suspended guild elections after one student was stabbed to death on Thursday in the final rally to the elections.
Michael Bentugura Dewate, a student of the said university was Thursday evening stabbed to death following chaos that erupted between supporters of the National Unity Platform (NUP) and Forum for Democratic Change Party (FDC).
Dewate reportedly died at around 8:30pm during the final political campaigns leading to the guild elections that had been slated for today, Friday 15 July, 2022.
Eyewitnesses told Daily Monitor that a scuffle ensued between supporters of the NUP camp led by their guild candidate Lawrence Alionzi alias Dangote and FDC camp led by their candidate Justus Tukamushaba after supporters of the latter attempted to force their way through the entrance to the university Rugby Grounds where the NUP candidate was holding his last rally.
“We had gathered at the Rugby Grounds to listen to Dangote when supporters of the FDC candidate tried to force their way in. They started pelting stones and broken beer bottles at us. Police intervened and fired teargas forcing students to flee. Several students, including myself were injured,” Ms Lillian Ayot told Monitor.
Another student, Ronald Amanya said he saw someone stab a colleague with a broken bottle before he (victim) started bleeding profusely from the neck.
“This boy was in the NUP camp but he kept exchanging words with some people from the FDC camp. Someone emerged from the crowd and stabbed him with a broken bottle in the neck and disappeared into the crowd,” he said.
The victim who was bleeding profusely is said to have run to Nsibirwa hall bathrooms to clean the blood but it was too late.
“We tied a cloth around his neck but it couldn’t help. We had to rush him to the University hospital but he had lost a lot of blood. He was pronounced dead moments after we arrived at the hospital,” he added.
However, in a statement announcing the postponement, the University council said they have called off the elections to allow space and time for investigations concerning the death of the student.
In a letter addressed to the Vice Chancellor, Prof Barnabas Nawangwe and copied to the Speaker of Parliament Anita Among, her deputy Thomas Tayebwa and the First Lady, Janet Museveni who doubles as the Minister of Education and Sports, Ms Lorna Magara said the elections for the 88th Makerere university students’ guild leadership were suspended indefinitely due to the violent scenes that erupted during the campaign rallies.
“Makerere university council is appalled by the violent events that have characterized the electoral campaigns for the 88th Students Guild leadership, which resulted in the loss of the life of one of the young people participating in the campaign activities.
The University Management and Council have repeatedly raised concerns about the persistent cases of indiscipline and violent altercations among members of the Students Guild and the Students Senior Common Room, which often resulted in damage to University property and injury to University Students and staff.
Management and the Council have repeatedly engaged the Student leaders at the Guild and SCR levels to address the violent behaviour, but the engagements have not yielded any improvements,” Ms Magara addressed.
In addition, Ms Magara said management shall continue to investigate all cases of violence witnessed during the camapigns and ensure all the perpetrators are brought to book.
“Management shall investigate all cases of violence in the electoral campaigns for the 88th Students Guild leadership and report to the Council for appropriate action,” she said before adding that the Council will convene in an emergency meeting on Friday, July 15, 2022 to consider further actions to address student indiscipline and violence at the University.”