Great Lakes Regional University in Kanungu district has been closed over a violent students strike. The campus, affiliated to Nkumba University, was founded by Dr Hamlet Kabushenga, the former Kinkizi East member of parliament.
It was closed this afternoon after angry students stormed the administration block and attempted to vandalise it. The students accused their administrators of mistreating them and failing to address their grievances, singling out, a requirement of Shs 400,000 to cover the cost of each identity card as despicable.
The continuing students were joined by the class of 2015 and 2016 alumni who have reportedly been asked to pay Shs 600,000 each before they can be given their academic transcripts. All 375 students who completed in 2015 and 34 who completed in 2016 academic years have not yet received their academic transcripts.
Nelson Kyomukama Atuheire one of the alumni said the charges are uncalled for since all students cleared with the school before their final exams. Brian Orishaba, one of the concerned continuing students also contested the payment of Shs 400,000 to cover the cost of identity cards. Orishaba criticizes the university for failing to consider the financial constraints students and parents endure.
Ambrose Niwagaba, the university guild president says that the students plan to drag the university administration to court since the strike has failed to yield any impact.
Police used tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse the rowdy students who were armed with stones and clubs aiming at the administration block demanding for an explanation on the exorbitant charges.
Moments later, Bernard Akarambuzi, the academic registrar displayed a notice from the office of the vice chancellor ordering the closure of the university until further notice. The notice also ordered students to have vacated the university premises by 6pm.
Dr George Tumwesigye, the university vice chancellor confirms that closure of the university saying that the administration will first sit to determine when the students will report back. He however declined to comment on the accusations by continuing students and alumni.
Joab Wabwire, the Kanungu District Police Commander says that police was forced to disperse rowdy students after realizing that they wanted to cause damage on the university structures. He adds that police will maintain security at the university.