Museveni orders army out of Makerere

 

President Yoweri Museveni ordered for the withdrawal of the military police from Makerere University amid growing condemnation from various corners over the highhanded manner in which government moved to crush student protests at the university.

According to the senior presidential press secretary, Don Wanyama, Museveni telephoned the Chairman of the Makerere University Council Lorna Magara, and the Guild President Julius Kateregga, and urged them to find an amicable solution to the impasse.

“This morning, the President has spoken to the university council chair and the guild president, urging them to meet. He has also ordered the withdrawal of the military police from the university. The Uganda Police will maintain law and order,” Wanyama stated.

What began as peaceful student protests last week turned violent following the deployment of soldiers to quell the protests against an increment in tuition fees.

Grimy images of the military breaking into students’ halls of residence, destroying their belongings and at the same time flogging the students circulated both on mainstream and social media.

The effect of this was condemnation from the international community – the U.S embassy taking the leading with statement on Monday evening, criticizing the manner in which security forces handled the protests.

“Footage of security services attacking unarmed students in their residence halls and attacks on journalists covering the protests are especially disturbing.  This heavy-handed response by security services is uncalled for, and is a direct affront to the freedoms of assembly, speech and expression guaranteed by Uganda’s constitution,” partly reads the statement by the U.S embassy.

The U.S went on to urge the government of Uganda to allow all Ugandans to exercise their basic rights peacefully and without fear.

The police notheless justified their use of excessive force with the police spokesman, Fred Enanga telling journalists that the students were being bankrolled by some political actors and activists to engage in protests.

“Already we have managed to get one of the Mobile Money points in Wandegeya where they draw money for their protests,” said Enanga, adding that the operators of the Mobile Money outlet are being investigated, with a view of unearthing the source of the funding.