On Monday, students from Mountains of the Moon University in the tourist town of Fort Portal took to the streets to protest the absence of their teachers.
The more than 1,000 students, led by Guild President Osbert Alinda, attempted to lead a procession from their campus to the downtown business district, but were stopped by police at the Fort Portal main roundabout.
Students were barred from using the main Nyakaana road, which leads to the Kabaundaire market, by a team of police officers commanded by Emmy Lorica, the Officer in Charge of the Fort Portal central police station.
They used tear gas and live bullets to disperse the crowds of students carrying placards who were marching.
After being brutalized by the police, three students, including the guild president, were injured.
Since the academic year began on December 1, 2021, Alinda told journalists, they have not had any lectures.
He notes that almost three weeks after the Christmas vacations, the academic staff has yet to show up or open the staff room.
According to students, only the accounts office at the institution is open, while the rest are closed without explanation from the administration.
One of the students, Martin Birungi, claims that if they don’t pay their tuition on time, the institution charges them a late fee but doesn’t compensate them for missed classes.
Since 2018, professors have routinely laid down their tools, according to Robins Muhindo, a government loaned student.
Other students claim that their parents are enraged with them because they haven’t finished their courses on time since 2018.
They claim that the lecturers told them that they wouldn’t be permitted to return to the university unless the government declared it a public institution.
Professor John Kasenene, the University vice-chancellor, declined to comment on the student demonstration, stating that he was in a meeting discussing similar issues.
The proposal to convert Mountains of the Moon Institution into a public university was approved by parliament last year. The resolution, however, has yet to be implemented.