By: Mordecai Eyobu (Student Activist)
At the helm of the struggle to revoke the 15% tuition policy at Makerere University, there befell so many challenges and lessons that we as young people confronted. The 15% tuition policy was for many years proposed before various student governments that blocked its passing through for years. However, 2018 is a worthwhile year that we delineate the infamous decision by some of our own to have this policy gazetted.
At the centre of the wall of shame is the 84 students government and more specifically the seven (7) man committee that straddled to decide otherwise on the future of fees structure of an anticipated student of Makerere University.
At the eve of enacting this policy were already jingoistic emotions among various students of Makerere University and many benevolent alumni. At this time that this policy is halted, very many activists have been suspended, warned, clobbered, raped (by security) intimidated and tortured. With some members of staff visiting prison cells with guns and pointing them at innocent students threatening them with an early death.
To throw back a little in 2018, David Musiri) alongside Comrades Roy Rugumayo and Frank Bwambale were arrested at Nkrumah Hall, charged and acquitted by court for inciting a peaceful demonstration at Nkrumah hall against the 15% tuition policy. After this arrest and trial. Many of the early breeds of fearless activists were now gone and many had graduated and left.
At some point morales were worn and so not expect another to come back to fight. However, In 2019, a team of fearless girls led by the Fearless 85th Female caucus stormed the streets on 22/10/2019 at Makerere to demand a reduction on the university dues that were leading girls into trading their bodies for tuition.
The following morning on hearing the arrest of the girls, the male students decided to launch a struggle against the policy in solidarity with their sisters. On this day the 23/10/2019.
Students were arrested and thrown in a teargas van alongside The then chairman of Lumumba hall Emperor Elvis Omoit in Kikoni only to be released upon the death of my father. Upon return, I was summoned to a meeting with the vice chancellor’s delegates to discuss the terms of calling off the strike but the delegates were only tempting to dictate upon us. The meeting ended in the arrest of the delegates by the angry students.
Musiri David alongside comrades were suspended and summoned to the disciplinary comitee on fake and doctored charges as can be seen on the summon letter authored by Mr. Gordon Murangira.