A group of Makerere University students have today delivered a petition to Parliament a day after the institution was closed on Wednesday August 14.
The students led by the guild president Adeke Ann Ebaju started walking from the university gates at around 10am. They were however met by anti-riot police commanded by the Wandegeya police commander Caesar Tusingwire.
Tusingwire told them to halt their protest march or face arrest, but the students defied the order saying they were walking to the Wandegeya taxi stage to get a taxi to Parliament. This was however not accepted by Tusingwire who offered to get the taxi and pay for their transport too.
The students then vowed to sing the Makerere Anthem until the taxi was brought. It took police about twenty minutes to bring the taxi. Meanwhile the singing was cut short when the police tried to arrest the guild president and the students resorted to arguing with the police officers.
Two taxis were then provided to transport the students to parliament to present a petition to the Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga.
The 12 point petition seeks to draw the attention of parliament to the continued struggles the students face at the now closed university. The students want parliament to ensure the re-opening of the university by Saturday this week, failure of which they will report to the university on August 23 and demand to be taught.
The students are also asking parliament to stay the implementation of the 60% tuition policy which they say is unfair to low-earning parents that have children at Makerere. The policy requires students to pay at least 60% of tuition at the beginning of the semester and complete payment by end of the first two months of the semester.
The petition also seeks for an audit into accountability of tuition funds that are paid to the university. The students say the tuition they are currently paying does not reflect the services the university offers.
The petition comes a day after the indefinite closure of Makerere after university council failed to strike a deal with lecturers, who are pushing for a 100% salary increment.