Makerere University strike Frank Bwambale
Makerere University strike: Bwambale Suspended for the second time following a Strike. File Photo

Makerere University strike: Frank Bwambale Suspended for the second time following a Strike

Following a two day strike, Makerere University has suspended two students Frank Bwambale and Mollie Sipiria for inciting violence and protests against the 15 per cent tuition increment policy.

Two students identified as Frank Bwambale, a fourth-year Journalism and Communication student and Mollie Sipiria, a Guild Representative Councillor for School of psychology have been suspended owing to their key roles played in leading to the strike.

‘’All I can tell you is I wasn’t surprised at all that I got it (suspension letter). That’s the trend now at Makerere University. Everyone who tries to express themselves is suppressed to the core. It was no surprise to me at all,” Ms Spellia confirmed the suspension in an interview.

Earlier this week, a group of students from the University marched to the office of the President Yoweri Museveni to present a petition requesting him to scrap the new 15 per cent tuition policy that they claim was signed last year.

However, they were blocked by the police on their way including arresting of at least 20 students yesterday and released them later on that evening on police bond.

According to the students, the policy is very unfair to those on private sponsorship and a hindrance to the majority of them who have to toil hard to get money to pay their tuition and other expenses.

Meanwhile, the University guild president Julius Kateregga said that students were not consulted before the increment on tuition was passed last year something that they have finally realized now is affecting them dearly.

Kateregga stated said in an interview before adding that they are even more determined to continue raising their grievances against the policy and also to ensure that all suspended and arrested students are set free.

Last year, the Makerere University Council approved the 15 per cent tuition increment which was effected on the first-year students who joined in the 2018/2019 academic year.

The same year, the University Vice-Chancellor, Prof Barnabas Nawangwe, confirmed that the Council approved a new fees structure for the undergraduate students starting 2018/2019 with an increase of 15%.

According to Nawangwe, this was a figure which was proposed by the students themselves and the council just helped in approving it.

Frank Bwambale a striking expert

This is the second time Bwambale has been arrested for inciting violence at the university with the recent incident happening last year when he together with two others were suspended and later charged before Buganda Road court.

Frank Bwambale, David Musiri and Roy Rugumayo were suspended last year in 2018 by the University administrators when they were allegedly found in the university’s Nkrumah hall of residence assembling in a manner suspected to incite other students to strike.

By John Dalton Kigozi