Police is holding 18 people including 3 lecturers and 15 students for allegedly masterminding today’s strike at Kabale University.
The lectures who were arrested are; Emmanuel Nkundizana, the chairperson for Kabale University academic staff, Annet Tusiime Mutatiina and Aidah Sunday. Some of the arrested students include, Nicholas Byonanebye, Jimmy Kabazi, George Kabinga, Clair Owayezu and Juan Musinguzi among others.
The strike started when students attempted to attack the academic registrar. They wanted the registrar to explain why they have not had lectures since the beginning of the new semester on September 15. Lecturers at the same university have been protesting the failure by the university administration to clear their 8-month salary arrears.
The students also attempted to raid the vice chancellor Prof Joy Kwesiga’s office saying he is not fit to be in office. The students were also protesting the sorry state of the university toilets.
Police fired tear gas to disperse the angry students. Moments later, they descended on Kabale district headquarters demanding the intervention of the resident district commissioner (RDC) into their issues from where they were arrested by anti-riot police and taken to Kabale police station.
Henry Kisembo, a field force unit commander for Kabale district, says that they had no problem with the students expressing their grievances, but that they were becoming unmanageable.
Prior to their arrests, Nicholas Byonanebye, one of the students said that they wanted the RDC to help them convey their dissatisfaction with the administration to President Museveni.
Kigezi regional police spokesperson Elly Maate said the arrested individuals had defied orders to remain peaceful. Maate adds that police will remain deployed at the university until calm is restored.
Kabale deputy RDC Denis Nzeirwe says that although students and lecturers have issues with the university administration, they have used wrong method of expression. He however adds that district officials will sit with the university administration to address the grievances.
Kabale University deputy vice chancellor (academics), Allen Babugura, declined to comment on the matter. She is the only administrator who was at the university at the time of the incident.
Sarah Ayebare, a student at the university accuses Prof Kwesiga of maladministration. She says that the university should refund their money since they are not ready to teach them.
“And it is now two months so far, I paid their tuition during the holidays but I don’t why they are just here. Even in holidays they refused to mark our exams…we no longer want her, she has mismanaged the funds with some of the administrators including the vice chancellor”, she said.