Kampala, Uganda | URN | Former President of the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC), Dr. Kizza Besigye has condemned the arrests and detention of students at Makerere University for protesting against the 15 percent tuition increment.
The increase in fees is being implemented so that all new students enrolling at Makerere University have to factor in a 15 percent increment.
It was passed by the University Council in June 2018. For the past two days, the university campus has been a hive of activity, as students engaged security agencies in running battles.
Police used teargas and live bullets to pursue the rowdy students who are calling for the cancellation of the fees increment policy.
Several students including the Guild Speaker Ezra Byakutangaza and the Guild President Julius Kateregga were arrested.
Now, Dr. Besigye says Makerere University is a public institution that should not sanction such fees hikes. He contends that there is no way President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni would have studied if such conditions were created at the time he went to school.
Dr. Besigye says there is a continued wave of terror at Makerere University aimed at denying students their expression of discontent at hiking of tuition fees at the Government University.
“Yet you release soldiers, armed to the teeth with helmets and all kinds of things to go and terrorize and torture students who are simply complaining that the fees have become intolerable. Injustice! Economic injustice,” Besigye said on Thursday.
He added that: “We are talking about political injustice, where people have no political voice. The whole idea of living together is that we have equal rights but you know that we live in a country where we have no voice.”
Besigye also announced a new activism campaign, dubbed ‘Tweraneko’ aka ‘Article 3 Campaign’ which he said will seek to address the ongoing injustices in the country. Besigye said there is a need for the citizenry to come together in a convention and discuss matters relating to rising criminality, inequality and rising injustice.
“The purpose of the state is what is enshrined in the Constitution, and once the state fails then the duty, the responsibility falls back on us,” said Besigye.
He said at the national convention, they will devise their own solutions to ongoing problems.