Makerere University Council on Thursday evening, July 14, 2022, suspended the election of students’ guild leadership following the death of an Uganda Christian University (UCU) student who was stabbed to death following a scuffle between supporters of two political parties in the race.
Lorna Magara, the Makerere University council chairperson, in her Thursday evening letter dated July 15, 2022, addressed to the university vice-chancellor, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe, directed that “the ongoing elections for the 88 Makerere University Students Guild leadership are suspended immediately.”
The suspension comes a day after the university was supposed to hold elections on Friday to replace the outgoing guild.
Magara also indicated that “the Makerere University students guild is suspended with immediate effect. This suspension includes the guild caretaker government and the student’s common room.
“Makerere University Council is appalled by the violent events that have characterized the electoral campaigns for the 88th students guild leadership, which resulted in the loss of the life of one of the young people participating in the campaign activities.”
She said the university management and council have repeatedly raised concerns about the persistent cases of indiscipline and violent altercations among members of the students guild and the student’s senior common room, which often resulted in damage to University property and injury to University Students and staff.
Magara, in her letter copied to the Speaker of Parliament Anita Among; her deputy Thomas Tayebwa, and the First Lady, Janet Museveni who doubles as the Minister of Education and Sports, Chairperson of Education Committee Parliament, among others, stated that management and the council had repeatedly engaged the student leaders at the guild and SCR levels to address the violent behavior, but the engagements had not yielded any improvements.
“Management shall investigate all cases of violence in the electoral campaigns for the 88th Students Guild leadership and report to the Council for appropriate action,” she said.
Magara directed that the council will convene in an emergency meeting on Friday, July 15, 2022, to consider further actions to address student indiscipline and violence at the university.
New Vision has learned that the dead student had been identified as Michael Betungura Bewatte a UCU student who died at around 8:00 pm after he was reportedly stabbed with a broken bottle at the Makerere Rugby Grounds following a scuffle between the National Unity Platform camp, which had a candidate called Lawrence Alionzi and Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) camp, which had Justus Tukamushaba.
A scuffle ensued at the Rugby Grounds just below Nsibirwa hall after the FDC camp attempted to gain forceful entry into the venue prompting an exchange of words between the two camps.
Students present at the venue noted that someone charged at the FDC supporters and stabbed Betungura in the neck and that despite attempts by his colleagues to rush him to the Nsibirwa bathrooms and try to clean his wounds, he died due to over bleeding inside the hall bathrooms.
Harold Kaija, FDC’s Deputy Secretary General, confirmed: “The UCU law student has been killed at a bloody rally while supporting his fellow old student Tukamushaba for guild president Makerere.”