By Venenscias Kiiza
President Museveni has said he will enlist the services of the Uganda Peoples Defence Forces (UPDF) Engineering Brigade to construct a perimeter wall fence at Makerere University, after along waiting.
This was revealed by one of the University’s top administrator, following a meeting with the president at statehouse- Entebbe recently .On the request of the 11 team delegation that was led by University Chancellor Prof Ezra Suruma, VC John Ddumba, D/VC F&A Barnabus Nawangwe, and Dr.Vincent Ssembatya the Director Quality Assurance, President Museveni reiterated his promise adding that security was his major priority.
Others who attended the meeting include; Prof Bernard Bashasha Principal CAES, Dr Eria Hisali Principal COBAMS, Dr.Edward Bbaale, Dr.Robert Wamala, Prof James Ntozi,Dr.Ayeko Muwanga and as well Dr.James Wokadala.
It should be noted that Museveni had promised to build a perimeter wall around Makerere University campus to curb insecurity at the country’s oldest university.
According to sources, Museveni, who had earlier wanted to engage the Ministry of Education to build the fence, said he was now changing his mind and hence it was important to entrust it with his soldiers.
“The president told us that his UPDF Engineering brigade is well experienced and that they do their work faster. He promised to deliver on his promise as soon as possible, “a source revealed.
Calls for a perimeter fence were ignited following Garissa terror attacks in Kenya in 2014, which according to the then guild president Ivan Bwowe,’the institution was vulnerable to terror attacks because of unrestricted access to the campus which hosts more than 40,000 students’.Bwowe said the university has more than 15 outlets and lacks a perimeter wall which makes the surveillance quite difficult.
According to sources, during the meeting the delegation asked president Museveni to consult and engage the College of Engineering, Design Art and Technology in the construction of the perimeter fence in order to avoid the 2007 scenario.
“We told him to engage Engineers at CEDAT to avoid shoddy work, you remember the 2007 incidence where the wall collapsed midway, “a source intimated.
In 2007, Makerere University attempted to erect a perimeter wall fence and mid-way the construction, the wall collapsed. The Shs6bn wall construction was halted as top administrators accused the university’s estates department for having done shoddy work that led to collapse of the wall after a hailstorm.
Investigations were launched to ascertain what exactly could has gone wrong and for some unknown reasons the whole idea of erecting that crucial wall have been shelved.
ILLEGAL WALK WAYS
Whereas the five entry points have been earmarked, the university still has got other access route points which have not received maximum attention, although some of them have got armed police men. These include an entry point from Kikoni via the college of engineering and technology ,small gate kikoni,as well the entry point at Mary Stuart hall from Nakulabye along the main sports ground.
In 2013, police issued alerts, saying Makerere had been made a target by terrorists who had planned to bomb the university as students sat their final exams at that time.
In May 2014, police said they had received information that some terrorists had promised a student from the university’s College of Computing and Information Sciences a down payment of Shs15m for his tuition fees if he planted a bomb in one of the blocks during examination time.