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Suspended Makerere students face trespass charge

By Shamim Kafuko

Added 20th September 2018 05:24 PM

They are barred from accessing Makerere University premises pending disposal of their case

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They are barred from accessing Makerere University premises pending disposal of their case

Three Makerere University students that were recently suspended over alleged indiscipline have been charged with trespass.

On Wednesday, Frank Bwambale, David Musiri and Roy Rugumayo were arraigned before Buganda Road Court Grade one magistrate Joan Ketty Acaa who read out the charges to them.

They denied the charge and immediately applied for bail on grounds that bail is their constitutional right and that they are presumed innocent until proven otherwise.

The magistrate released each of the trio on a sh200,000 cash bail after court retained their national identity cards and those of their sureties.

They were also barred from accessing Makerere University premises pending disposal of their case.

Their sureties included; Doreen Nyanjura, Robin Walulembe, Martin Musiime, Gerald Oyeki, Marion Kirabo and Bernard Talemwa.

The trio is said to be part of a group that has allegedly been masterminding a series of riots to protest the 15% tuition increment by the university.

State attorney Barbra Kyomugisha informed court that investigations are still ongoing, prompting the magistrate to adjourn the case until October 4.

Prosecution alleges that the group and others still at large on September 12 were found at Nkrumah Hall assembling in a manner suspected to invoke other students cause a breach of peace.

A number of students aggrieved with 15% tuition increment had vowed to protest once it is passed by the council.

However, Makerere University Council approved the increment which is set to affect new students scheduled to join the institution in August.

This followed the student guild leadership’s proposal of a 15% increase to the university council to consider after they protested the 45 percent and 91 percent raise that had been proposed by the council earlier this year.

Recently, Makerere University vice chancellor, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe said the university council sat and approved the proposed 15% tuition increment.

“Council has approved a new fees structure for the undergraduate students starting 2018/19 with an increase of 15%. This was a figure which was proposed by the students themselves so council decided to approve it,” Nawangwe noted.

Background

On September 10, Makerere University suspended a group of students on grounds of engaging in disruptive activities and illegal demonstrations.

David Musiri, Roy Rugumayo, Frank Bwabale, Johnson Emmanuel Obbo, Asiimwe Nkamushaba, Ronald Baligwe, Ian Ndamwesiga and David Musiri were suspended from the university premises.

The students were suspended after they allegedly mobilised fellow students and staged protests over the tuition increment which was approved in July.

In a post on Twitter, the university described the protests as a breach of the university regulations and interference in the institutional activities.

“The following students are hereby suspended from Makerere University for engaging in disruptive activities and breaching the university students’ regulations,” read part of the tweet.

Doreen Nyanjura, the LCV chairperson condemned the university’s move.

“What does the university lose if it tries to address the issues raised by students and convince them with them otherwise, instead of gagging them with suspension letters and dismissal?” asked Nyanjura.

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