Friday, 17 October 2014

Busitema University closed after student strike.Drive Hot News

Police on Thursday fired teargas to disperse students of Busitema University in Busia District who were protesting the closure of the institution by the university council.
The students screamed and others fled half-naked as the police smoked them out of their halls of residence at the main campus.
The police first came with letters which were distributed to the students asking them to immediately leave the university campus for their homes.
The students objected and instead retreated to their halls of residence, scoffing at the university council’s letter closing the university as fake.
A letter from the university administration said there had been persistent unrest and indiscipline which prompted closure of the university.
The letter indicated that the unrest had disrupted academic and other activities at the campus since Monday. 
The students were protesting reduction of their allowances for personal projects from Shs450,000 to Shs350,000.
They dismissed the letter as fake, saying it was not signed.
The guild president, Mr Nathan Otim, said the students had earlier boycotted lectures in protest of the reduction of their allowances and increment of graduation fees from Shs100,000 to Shs200,000.
He said they had not been consulted on the matter.
Another student, Ms Irene Achan, said they were protesting the university’s failure to give them graduation gowns yet they had paid for them.
Riot police were deployed at the campus and lobbed several teargas canisters into crowds of the protesting students who fled in a melee.
Only a few students were able to carry some of their belongings.
Some students left the halls almost half naked and dressed up along the Tororo-Malaba highway as they fled. Efforts to speak to the university vice chancellor, Prof Mary Okwakol, were futile as she was locked up in a meeting the whole day.
Sources in the university administration, however,  that the decision to reduce the project allowances and raise the graduation fees had been agreed upon after consultation with the students guild council.
The Bukedi region police spokesperson, Mr Michael Odongo, said use of teargas was necessary after the students defied the university council decision to leave the campus and turned rowdy. He added that police would remain at the university until the situation normalised