National Unity Platform (NUP) leader, Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine, has condemned the suspension of three students from Makerere University.
In a suspension letter seen by SoftPower News on Monday, the University Vice-Chancellor, Prof Barnabas Nawangwe, said Calvin Mwesigwa Mugambwa together with other students yet to be identified was suspended for indiscipline.
Mwesigwa, who belongs to the College of Health Sciences, is pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Medicine and Surgery.
It later emerged that Mwesigwa was suspended along with Bbosa Edwin Price and Katushabe Kenneth for a students’ assembly they attended last Friday, an act the University claims is unlawful.
“As a student leader, you ought to know that kinds of behavior is not acceptable. Because of your continued involvement in the above offensive acts and in order to ensure safety and security of the students, university community and property, I hereby suspend you from Makerere university with immediate effect until further notice,” Prof Nawangwe said.
Bobi Wine, in turn, claims the students’ suspension is part of “a wider scheme…to clamp down on otherwise lawful student activity that it considers a threat to its existence”.
“I am shocked by the information coming from Makerere University indicating that its administration has arbitrarily suspended 3 students who are vying to contest for Guild presidency on the NUP ticket,” he said on Monday evening.
He added: “Our legal team is already engaged to challenge this latest affront to academic freedom.”
On Friday, the NUP-Makerere Chapter organised a students’ General Assembly at Makerere University to which Secretary-General, David Lewis Rubongoya, had been invited as the Chief Guest.
However, the police and military fired teargas and live bullets to disperse the students.
Several students were allegedly injured while others were arrested including; Mwesiga Calvin Mugambwa, Bbosa Price, Roy Rugumayo, and Katushabe Kenneth.
NUP party said these students were prospective candidates in the forthcoming Guild elections at the University.
“We condemn the actions of the security forces in their continued infringement on the students’ academic freedoms,” the party added.
According to Nawangwe, the suspended students will appear before the Students Disciplinary Committee for interaction regarding the matter on a date to be communicated.
They were given until 5pm on Monday to vacate the university premises.
“You are further cautioned not to appear at Makerere university until the university makes a decision in this matter,” the letter adds.