Students and staff of Uganda Christian University are uncertain of what they will wake up to tomorrow morning as rumours of a planned demonstration led by the guild president continue to cause unrest among the population.
While addressing the staff and students’ community during lunch time communal prayers, the Vice Chancellor Dr. John Senyonyi said he learned of the plans through a post on Facebook last evening.
Senyonyi revealed that the Guild President Arthur Baliruno had written to the Mukono District Police Commander early this week informing him of a demonstration come Wednesday morning.
Senyonyi was bitter that the president did not follow university policies provided for demonstrations. “The guild did not follow what has been outlined in the policy,” he said. He warned that should any damages or injuries occur, they guild president will be held directly responsible.
According to the university policy, whoever plans a lawful demonstration should write a proposal to the Director of Students’ Affairs (DOSA) at least 48 hours before the due date. This letter should include the names, registration numbers of the students and the total number of those planning to demonstrate. The DOSA shall then grant or deny permission to the proposal.
“If he wants to call a demonstration it is not bad, but he should follow procedure.” Dr. Senyonyi said. “I believe in dialogue not in meetings where you ambush people,” he added.
The demonstration is allegedly about the closure of all of the university gates, forcing all university users to use the main gate. The Vice Chancellor explained to the students’ community that it is a measure levied to curb terrorism as advised by security officers.
“If you want us to open the gate, then assure two things; one, get permission from the police and two, tell the Al-Shabab not to attack us,” he retorted causing some students to feel sorry for cursing the security measure.
Shortly after the Garissa attack in Kenya, Uganda Christian University started receiving terror threats from the Al-Shabab. This unrest cold give the terrorists an advantage over the university security.
If the demonstration/strike pushes through, it will be the first time ever that Uganda Christian university students demonstrate or strike against the authorities.
Most of the finalists are opposed to the demonstration/strike because they are worried of losing time or wasting tuition.
Others argue that the reasons are genuine but could have been addressed better.
For the guild on the other hand, they say they have pitched ideas long enough but nothing has been done about it and it is time to use other means.
It is less than 12 hours, let us see what tomorrow brings.