Concerned students at Makerere University (MAK) have suspended the Vice-Chancellor of Makerere University Prof Barnabas Nawangwe for illegally suspending four students attached to the opposition party National Unity Platform-NUP.
In a letter dated June 27, the Makerere University students evoked Article (1)1 of the Constitution of Uganda to suspend the University boss until further notice for abuse of office.
This letter comes after students were sent home indefinitely for attempting to hold an assembly on Friday last week at Freedom Square in the City organized by the Makerere University National Unity Platform Chapter.
They are vying to run for the Makerere University Guild Presidency on the NUP party ticket.
The MAK Vice-Chancellor Professor Barnabas Nawangwe suspended the students in a letter dated June 27, 2022, accusing them of ‘engaging in acts of demonstration’. VC Nawangwe says the students contravened rule 9(b) of the University rules and regulations.
It states that; “Demonstrations either within or outside the university shall be held only in accordance with the laws of Uganda provided the Vice-Chancellor has been informed at least 24 hours in advance and police permission has been obtained.”
The affected students are Mwesigwa Calvin Mugambwa, Bbosa Edwin Price, and Katushabe Kenneth.
However, a section of the student fraternity has hit back at Professor Nawangwe, accusing him of misusing his office and quoting the wrong rules to suspend students. They say Nawangwe has often used suspensions to suppress and intimidate students who don’t side with him
The students claim article 29(d) of the constitution of Uganda mandates students to hold assemblies and demonstrate.
They further quote 9(b) of the University rules and regulations distancing the suspended learners from engaging in a violent strike that involves bloodshed, looting, or destruction of property.
NUP Secretary-General, David Lewis Rubongoya, has since condemned the suspension of its student members, saying this is very unfortunate and a deliberate attempt to target NUP candidates.
“The deliberate targeting of NUP candidates in the Guild race is not only unfair, but it is also illegal, cowardly, and high-handed. Makerere University students must be allowed to select leaders of their choice. Our legal team has been requested to study this matter and pursue means of setting aside the illegal actions. We hope for now that the authorities at the University will reconsider this decision,” said Rubongoya.
The University authorities have not responded to the claims.