The Uganda Police has Wednesday morning cordoned off the Makerere University Freedom Square where students were scheduled to convene a general assembly.
The acting Guild President who is also the current guild speaker, Kwagala Ivan, had called for the Assembly to decide on the way forward on claims that they (students) were not being attended to by the striking lecturers, yet, authorities at the University have persistently told the public that lectures are going on.
However, Kwagala was reportedly picked near the Mitchel Hall of residence on Tuesday night by Makerere University Police, as he mobilized other students to take part in today’s general assembly. Sources said he was then taken to Wandegeya Police station where he was briefly detained and then released.
Wednesday morning, Police deploymed heavily at the Freedom Square inside the university to prevent the gathering which some believe could culminate into a strike by students.
Five students including the guild speaker, Kwagala Ivan, Hillary Nuwamanya, Obedigui Samuel, Musiime Martin, Lonna and a one Malwa, have been arrested and are currently detained at Makerere University Police Station.
POLICE SPEAK OUT
When contacted by SoftPower News on the matter, Kampala Metropolitan Police Spokesperson, SP Patrick Onyango, dismissed the arrest of the students, but instead said they were “isolated” from others whom they were inciting.
He said ‘isolated’ students tried to block lectures which were going on normally by inciting others to attend the general assembly.
“They dragged a few students out of the lecture theatres, we saw this and we stopped them from inciting others and the situation is now normal,” Onyango said.
“We have isolated the ring leaders from the group but there is no arrest made so far. We have just isolated them because we don’t want them to continue inciting others,” he added.
He says “we have not arrested them because if we did, they would be a charge but there is non.”
The stand off at Uganda’s most prestigious university started over two weeks ago, when lecturers chose to strike protesting the suspension by the Vice Chancellor, of the academic staff Association (MUASA) Chairperson, Dr Deus Kamunyu and two other leaders (Joseph Kalema and Bennet Magara) of the administrative staff Association.
They lecturers want their leaders to be reinstated before calling off the strike.