Makerere University Francis Zaake
Makerere VC Nawangwe appears before Parliament Disciplinary Committee over Zaake’s attacks towards him. Photo/Courtesy

Makerere VC Nawangwe appears before Parliament Disciplinary Committee over Zaake’s attacks towards him

Makerere University Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe, has returned to Parliament for the first time over allegations that the Mityana Municipality Member of Parliament, Francis Zaake threatened to beat him.

“The insults happened while in the committee room adding that, “Even when the Members asked him to stop the insults, he continued to point fingers at me almost beating me up,” Prof. Nawangwe said earlier while responding to a question concerning the allegations.

Following the recent October strike in Makerere University that involved students protesting against the 15% tuition increment policy that they believe was signed without their proper consent.

Students were demanding the University to consider revising the policy they termed as unfair and a big hindrance not only to those on government but also those on private sponsorship who have to toil hard to get their tuition.

Meanwhile, on 29th October 2019, the University Council held an emergency meeting and decided to halt any further increment on functional fees, but kept the 15% increase on tuition fees for the next three years.

This decision was not acceptable to a section of the students and a few of them days later continued rioting.

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This prompted the Parliament disciplinary committee to invite the Vice-Chancellor to discuss not only the causes of the strike then but also other problems affecting the University.

Nawangwe Francis Zaake threatened
VC Nawangwe meets Rules Committee over Zaake’s attacks

During this meeting, Zaake continuously asked questions and heckled the Nawangwe, followed him up and verbally attacked him as he exited the committee meeting room.

Later, the Speaker of Parliament Rt Hon Rebecca Kadaga stated that Zaake had acted contrary to the House Rules of Procedure on the conduct of members and referred the case to the Committee on Rules on 7 November 2019.

Nawangwe who was asked to clarify whether the incident happened inside or outside the committee room responded to Chairperson of the Committee, Kenneth Ongalo Obote implying that Zaake’s attitude towards him that day was ill-mannered.

According to Professor Barnabas Nawangwe, MP Zaake acted hostile towards him during his first meeting with Parliament and as he exited the house.

Nawangwe says that Zaake also went beyond intimidating him to the extent of making personal submissions that did not relate to the subject matter at the time.

“Hon. Zaake hurled insults at me saying that if I did not change my attitude while as the VC, he shall make sure that there are more strikes during my reign. His main reason was to intimidate me throughout the whole session,” Prof. Nawangwe added.

By John Dalton Kigozi