The Bishop of Kiyinda-Mityana Diocese Joseph Anthony Zziwa has decried the continued detention of political prisoners. Zziwa said that since the nation has concluded national elections, peace and reconciliation should be given an opportunity to prevail.
“…I request that those responsible for our security release the political prisoners. Give these young boys and girls the opportunity to enjoy the fruits of these elections…” he said.
The Bishop made the remarks while presiding over the second batch of the 26th virtual graduation of Uganda Martyrs University at their main campus in Nkozi where he doubles as chancellor. Several youths, mainly belonging to opposition political parties were arrested before, during, and after the January 14 general elections. President Yoweri Museveni said the youths with support from external forces, were plotting subversive activities against his government. Some of the youths who have since been released have alleged that they were tortured while in detention while some have allegedly been killed.
During the graduation, one student graduated with a PhD, 292 with master's degrees, 551 with degrees, and 236 with diplomas in different disciplines. Maj. Gen Lucky Kidega the head of research Uganda People's Defense Forces (UPDF) was the only graduate with a PhD in governance and peace studies. His study examined the military intervention in intrastate conflicts using the case of Uganda’s intervention in South Sudan.
The research brings forward the contribution of and the dilemmas presented by Uganda’s intervention in the South Sudan conflict and how Africa, in general, can benefit from the dividends of military interventions. The research further examines whether international policy frameworks are still relevant in the current security landscape, especially within African conflicts.
The university vice chancellor, Prof John Chrysostom Maviiri used the opportunity to raise concern over the high cost of the internet, especially for educational purposes. He made a clarion call to the government to subsidize the internet used by education institutions, which could also enable most of the students to attend their online classes that have been brought about by the Coronavirus (Covid-19) disruptions.
Bishop Zziwa also reiterated the need for a drop in the price of the internet by also making a call to telecommunication companies and other ICT service providers to drop the costs of the internet, smartphones, and computers that enable the smooth undertaking of e-learning classes for the students.
“…we need to be mindful of students who might not have their own computers and smartphones during this new normal. Let us think about them and how they are going about their education…” he added that institutions of higher learning should undertake blended learning that incorporates both e-learning and physical classes to minimize the challenges that come with online schooling.
Gideon Badagawa the executive director of the Private Sector Foundation of Uganda (PSFU) who was the chief guest at the graduation applauded the university for front running the research in livestock feeds leveraging on Black Soldier Flies. He expressed optimism that the groundbreaking innovation would aid the farmers greatly. He added on calling on universities to always invite the private sector to guide in curriculum development.
He called on the graduates to become a blessing to society since people go to school to solve the problems of society. He added that they should also be quick-witted, creative, and innovative
“…The employer is looking for skills. How applied are you? If You are not applied, the employer cannot deploy you…” added Badagawa.