Makerere University vice chancellor, Prof Barnabas Nawangwe has bowed to pressure and recalled suspension letters of 16 students issued over a week ago over getting involved in demonstrations against online lectures.
The revoking of the suspensions comes following demands from the students guild president Shamim Nambassa who also championed the protest against online lectures under a fully reopened economy on February 7, 2022.
Following a meeting held yesterday Monday with the students, guild presidency, Nawangwe withdrew the suspensions through a letter addressed to each of the students.
“In light of the written and oral explanations and apology from yourself. I hereby revoke your suspension and reinstate you as a student of Makerere University. I urge you and warn you to desist from any further actions that disturb peace at the university and bring the university in disrepute.” Nawangwe wrote.
Some of the suspended students included; Abdul Fatah Higenyi, Isaac Kansime, David Mugisha, Francis Xavier Asiimwe, Mathew Matovu, Manful Abenaitwe, Iddi Mutyaba, and Aloysius Nuwagaba. The other students are; Philemon Ayebazibwe, Fatuma Nakanwagi, Wycliffe Turyahabwe, Enock Kato, and Joseph Mukisa among others.
The students had already gone ahead to seek legal intervention against the suspension through their lawyers Henry Byansi and Derick Tukwasibwe of Kamulegeya and company advocates contested that the move was unlawful. The students were accused of allegedly inciting violence and disturbing learning activities at the university by taking part of the demonstration.
Some of the university council members like Doreen Nyanjura criticized the suspensions over demonstrations, noting that it is curtails academic freedom.
"We have law students who are being taught their rights in classes, they are taught how to demand and fight for their rights, and yet we also have university rules and regulations. But in class I'm being taught that if I don't agree with something, I can demonstrate peacefully, I can speak out against that. We have law students, we also have human rights students," said Nyanjura.
This is the second demand the university is bowing to following the demonstration, the university reversed its decision to hold online lectures for the better part of semester one which started on January 29, 2022 and will now fully reopen for all students on March 5, 2022.