By Mukose Arnold Anthony
Uganda Police Force Monday morning sieged High Court Civil Division of Kampala and blocked a number of Makerere University students from accessing court where they had gone for the hearing of their suit against the Vice Chancellor.
Students led by Judith Nalukwago, Luyombo Abbas, Mugisha Mariam Kyomugisha, Muyambi Mbabazi Julius, Kirabo Marion and Musiri David petitioned high court seeking the powers of the vice chancellor to be trimmed.
They challenge regulation 6 (1) (d) of the Makerere University Students Regulations Statutory Instrument No. 37 of 2015 which allegedly threatens and violates the right to a fair hearing, natural justice and just administrative treatment guaranteed and secured by Article 28, 42 and 44 of the Constitution of the Republic of Uganda.
The said regulation gives the Vice Chancellor unfettered powers arbitrarily to suspend from the University or discipline h/her in any manner he thinks fit and seeks approval of his action at the next University Disciplinary Committee sitting which students say violates their human rights
However, when students came up on Monday morning for hearing of the case after the December 19, 2019 adjournment, they were shocked to find a heavy deployment and those who came past 10am were blocked from accessing court.
Addressing the media after the adjournment; Eron Kiiza lawyer for the applicants condemned police act and called upon the IGP and his deputy to revise on how they execute their duties.
“It is indiscipline of the highest order on the part of police, I appeal to the IGP and his deputy to withdraw his policemen from court premises, stop injuring the independence of justice and interfering with the work of lawyers and their clients.” Eron appealed.
“This is a temple of justice, it is a very sad day in the democracy of this country we condemn it in the strongest terms possible and we hope that the IGP, his deputy and all those that are in charge of armed men in this country will stop deploying them in court premises since they are not welcomed” Counsel Eron Kiiza condemned.
On behalf of the applicants, Nalukwago Judith, the outgoing guild vice president said that, they won’t tire regardless of continued persecution.
“We are unhappy with the deployment at court because they are stopping students from attending their matter; though this isn’t new because even within the university they haunt us everywhere from within, around and outside the university and it isn’t very shocking that they are haunting us at court because they are always trumping on our rights as students but shall not tire” Nalukwago said.
Justice Musa Ssekana the trial judge has set May 18, 2020 as judgment day, applicants will submit in written submission by March 9, and rejoinder form Makerere University by March 30, 2020.