Students accuse UCU of religious discrimination

By Vivian Agaba

The guild president, Nkumba University, Henry Byansi said as students, they are concerned about the injustice being infringed on non-Anglican students in UCU, denying them the opportunity to exercise their right to freedom of worship.

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By Vivian Agaba

Student leaders from Nkumba University have accused the management of Uganda Christian University (UCU) for promoting religious discrimination in the institution following a blanket ban on non-Anglican forms of worship within and around the University premises recently.

Addressing a press conference at Nkumba University, Kampala branch on Tuesday, the student leaders who are also students' activists said promoting only Anglican form of worship and denying other religions from exercising their freedom of worship is religious discrimination which can lead to enmity and create chaos among students of different religions in the nearby future.

The guild president, Nkumba University, Henry Byansi said as students, they are concerned about the injustice being infringed on non-Anglican students in UCU, denying them the opportunity to exercise their right to freedom of worship.

"Under the constitution of Uganda, everyone has a right to freedom of worship, and UCU management coming out to put a ban on non-Anglican forms of worship within and around the University premises is irrational and not justifiable," said Byansi

"The ban infringes on a bundle of fundamental constitutional rights of students at the University which include but not limited to freedom of worship and equality, freedom of expression and information among others. As watchdogs of students' rights in Uganda, we are going to follow this matter until it is resolved," he added.

Though UCU is a private University, it is chartered by government of Uganda and therefore is obliged to comply with national standards irrespective of its foundational norms.

On the other hand, Yusuf Nuwamanya, chairperson, Human Rights Association, Nkumba University said other than violating the constitutional rights of religions, the university should start admitting only Anglicans.

Yasin Sentumbwe, founder, Students' Activism Forum Uganda (SAFU) also a student at UCU alleged that to start up a worship club at UCU, it must have a patron who is a lecturer and most of them are Anglicans and will not second being patrons for other religions and the club will be considered illegal.

They have vowed to work with different stakeholders including civil society organizations, and students from different universities to ensure this problem is solved.