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Makerere closure case hearing starts tomorrow

By Andante Okanya

Added 14th May 2017 03:28 PM

The president is sued as 'the visitor of the university'.

Makerere closure case hearing starts tomorrow

The president is sued as 'the visitor of the university'.

Court is tomorrow scheduled to hear the Makerere university law students' case, challenging President Yoweri Museveni's directive to close Makerere University in his capacity as Visitor.

Justice Patricia Basaza-Wasswa of the civil division of the High Court in Kampala, will preside over hearing.

They want the university to be compelled to make regulations, streamlining the modalities of closing and reopening the institution in the public interest as both unjustifiable and unlawful.

Background

Museveni ordered closure last year on November 1, on the prompting of a lecturers' and students' strike. However, it was reopened on December 25, and students resumed studies on January 2.

The students' lawyer is Isaac Ssemakadde. The complainants are Sam Ssekyewa, Moses Mushime, Francis Kibombo, Cissy Nabatanzi, Emmanuel Kanyesigye and John Robert Turyakira.

Attorney General lawyer is senior state attorney Richard Adrole.

Museveni instituted a commission of inquiry into mismanagement of the institution. The committee is yet to complete its work.

The students purport the university acted unlawfully and unjustifiably when it implemented the directive thereby failing to assert and safeguard its autonomy.

The president is sued as 'the visitor of the university'. The Attorney General, who acts as government's legal representative is sued as third party.

Ssekyewa in his affidavit laments that they were forcefully evicted from their halls and hostels of residence and given an ultimatum of up to 9am on November 2, to vacate the premises.

They accuse the president of unlawfully bypassing the university council, which is the supreme organ of the university and the Ministry of education and sports, to issue the directive.

They claim that the directive which was 'highhandedly' implemented was arrived at without prior adequate consultation of the institution's council, students, staff and other relevant stakeholders who were adversely affected.

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