Police Makerere University protests
Police investigate reports that activists and politicians fuelled Makerere University protests. File Photo

Makerere University students for a week now have engaged in a serious protest that caused standoff to the University’s business.

The Makerere University protests that began last Tuesday on the 22, October 2019, follows the 15 per cent cumulative tuition increment policy, over the next five years.

The policy was approved by the university council, the overall governing body of the institution.

However, Police Spokesperson, Fred Enanga said that Police has embarked on an investigation following reports that activists and political actors fuelled students to engage in these endless demonstrations at Makerere University.

Enanga says the payments were channelled to these students via different Mobile Money outlets in Wandegeya, a Kampala suburb close to the University.

Enanga adds that they are following up the matter through a close interview on the owners of the Mobile Money outlets, to find out the source of the money.

“Already we have managed to get one of the Mobile Money points in Wandegeya, where they draw money for their protests,” Enanga said.

However, Enanga dismissed media reports that the number of arrested students hiked to 60, saying it’s false, the exact number of detained students is only 39.

Seven of the detainees, according to Enanga are not students of Makerere University, and police are now investigation their motive of participating in the protests.

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The non-students involved in the protests and allegedly under arrest include; Deo Lumala, an artist in Kampala along Nasser Road, George Kaliisa, a boutique owner in Bwaise, a Kampala suburb, David Biliyo and Derick Otim, Mary Stuart Staff Quarters resident.

Plus Jesiro Okiliro who was enrolled in 2011, for a three-year course but dropped out along the way, Fahad Ssenyomo, a Chapatti seller in Wandegeya Trading Centre, former Mary Stuart Hall Chairman Collin Bandola, who completed hid studies years back and Kabugila Kamya, a shop attendant.

Enanga stressed out that the male pilots of the protests fronted ladies as a shield and thereafter, they joined. He adds that Makerere University formed a student’s association that starts and steers up demonstrations at the university and in other Universities.

In this, Enanga pointed out that in the recent Kyambogo University protests, a Makerere University student was among the protestors, including Makerere University Business School (MUBS) recent protests.

The protests at Makerere University began as a peaceful female demonstration, but later on, Police and Army took over. The army was seen forcefully entering halls of residences hitting a numbery of students.

“There were chances of serious destruction of property. Female protestors were being fronted as shields and eventually, male protestors would join,” Enanga noted.

Three journalists covering the protest were arrested on Tuesday 29, October 2019, after police fired teargas at them, and taken to an unknown destination. These include; a BBC correspondent, Chris Ssemakula of BBS television and Lawrence Kitata of Bukedde newspaper.

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Police as well fired teargas to scatter protestors, which distracted lectures which were in progress.

The protest climaxed after students’ leaders and the University Management on Monday failed to agree on the issue of tuition increment. Management vowed not to decline the policy, and student as well vowed to continue with the protests if management refuses to cancel the policy.