Makerere Students Guild are still in high gear to end the 15% tuition increment set by the university management to start in the next academic year.
This continues amidst various alleged threats from security agencies, army and university administration.
The students guild appeals to the Parliament, Minister of Education and Sports Hon. Janet K Museveni and the NRM Caucus to use their capacity to put to end the pending 15% tuition increment.
See full appeal below:
On Wednesday, November 27th, 2019 the Parliament of Uganda will convene to vote for or against a proposed 15% Tuition increment at Makerere University.
The house will also pronounce itself on University Electoral reforms and the state of the halls of residence at Makerere. This is a public call to action to prevent the passing of the 15% increment
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This vote symbolizes an opportunity to provide accessible, affordable education for Ugandans. Also, and a chance to eliminate income and other social inequalities that access to education can eradicate for Citizenry.
Every M.P sits in parliament because there was an enabling environment for you to acquire the necessary education to do so, despite the other challenges you may have faced.
This vote presents the chance to make public education affordable for all Ugandans.
As Students determined to make a contribution to the transformation of Uganda, our Country which we love, who understand the centrality of higher education in doing so, we, the students and Student Guild leadership of Makerere University have peacefully resisted a cumulative 15% increment in Tuition fees at Makerere, mindful of the implications it has on the economically underprivileged who constitute the majority of the student population.
For over thirty-five days, we have sought dialogue, we have come to parliament. In addition, we have engaged the mighty and the meek, we have pleaded, and we have prayed. We have also been beaten, kidnapped, violated, bruised, suspended, trailed and threatened for speaking out against this increment.
Now, the buck stops with the Parliament of Uganda. We appeal to members of parliament in the hope that perhaps something will change, that you will remember your pledge to serve GOD and this Country above all other competing interests.
To Members of the Public
We thank you for standing with us and for speaking out against the brutal, militarised assaults meted on MUK students.
We implore you to stand in solidarity with us by sharing this appeal with every member of parliament before Wednesday 27th November 2019.
Send it to their inboxes on Facebook and Twitter. Print and deliver a hard copy in person if you can – every little helps. In doing so, you will be making a contribution to the fight against an exploitative fees structure.
To Hon. Janet Museveni, as the line Minister for Education : –
This is the opportunity to demonstrate the motherliness you espouse. As a good mother, do not sanction an increment that will see the bulk of Ugandan children excluded from University education.
As a Mother, use your power to shield, rather than to expose us to a brutal, vicious, extractive system of the commodification of education that privileges the wealthy, not the common man.
To Members of the NRM Caucus:-
Numerical Majority can be as much a Shield as it can be a Sword. Please use your numbers to protect rather than wound Ugandans.
Transform your numerical strength into moral courage and resist this increment.
If at any point you waver between the commitment to the Nation or the NRM party, please remember the sights and sounds at Makerere over the last few days:-
Were the proposal for increment were justified, would it require the military invasion, levels of brutality, assault, media censorship and lawlessness that have been synonymous with this fees increment?
In these unlawful, clandestine, criminal actions alone, the spirit of the increment is laid bare – and it has drawn both deep concern and condemnation from different stakeholders including the Public, Embassies, Scholarship funders, Civil Society organisations, Human Rights Watch agencies and Faith-Based groupings.
Should you vote in support of the 15% increment, you also, by implication, sanction the horrific acts of brutality that have surrounded this entire saga.
You condone the beatings, maiming, banning of media and the rape allegations that are tormenting your own children.
Legislation can make a difference in the lives of those for whom it presents the last avenue for recourse. Indeed, we the students of Makerere came to parliament to seek shelter under constitutionally sound legislation.
The kindness of time provides you with a final opportunity to make a difference. Vote for rule of law, for accountability, for responsive leadership and for posterity. Vote against the 15% Tuition Increment.
To Security Agencies, the University Administration and the Military.
Cease from making calls and issuing threats to students taking a stand against the fees increment. Focus your military might on protecting rather than fighting against students.
The past Military raids notwithstanding, there is no law against the poor, only a fight against poverty.
There is no crime in saying we cannot afford the fees increment. Please constrain yourselves from acting in an unlawful manner.
The day of reckoning will soon come and we will hold each of you personally liable for the alleged acts of abuse and torture against peaceful, law-abiding students.
Fix Your eyes on tomorrow, on the future and on your children. Fix your eyes on a better Uganda.
To the August House
We thank all MPs who have stood with us, who have listened and even paid a price for doing so. Take Courage and vote against the increment today. Implore the University to adhere to the rule of law and respect the outcomes of the proceedings.
Do not vote for the 15% tuition increment.
We Build for the Future
For GOD and Country.
Members of the MUK Students Guild