Makerere University vice chancellor, Barnabas Nawangwe has pardoned three students who were suspended for protesting the eviction of small businesses at the university.
Earlier this month, Nawangwe suspended Ronald Odama (Arts), Simon Wandukwa (Law), and Bruce Mwebaze (Petroleum Geo-science and Production). In 2022, the university council ordered all businesses to vacate campus premises. Some of the businesses included photocopy and stationery shops, food stalls, restaurants, canteens, hair salons, mobile money kiosks, and others.
The university council's decision was based on the findings that numerous business activities that were operating on university premises do not relate to its core functions while some businesses operate in non-designated spaces.
However, the decision was greeted with protests from a section of students, who, argued that they were the direct beneficiaries of these businesses and that evicting them without providing alternative solutions would be a disservice to the majority of them.
They further contended that students, especially those living in halls of residence near the canteens, heavily rely on these services. Evicting them without suitable alternatives would put students, especially those with disabilities, at a significant disadvantage.
Now, Nawangwe in a letter receded their suspension after the students reportedly apologized.
“In lieu of the written and oral explanations and apology from yourself, I hereby recede your suspension and reinstate you as a student of Makerere University. I urge and warn you to desist from any further actions that disturb the peace at the University and bring the university into disrepute,” reads part of the letter.