“Do not forget, through all the years; those who have gone through the gates of Makerere. Give them the pride, give them the joy; oh to remember the gates of Makerere…”
That is a stanza in the Makerere University anthem, the late David Ojok’s parents, family, friends and other alumni of the great institution can no longer attach meaning to ever since the gruesome murder of Ojok at Nkrumah hall on Sunday April, 12th.
According to the guild information minister, Davidson Ndyabahika, Ojok graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Soft-ware engineering in January this year and owned an internet café in a suburb around the university commonly known as Kikumi-kikumi.
Little did he know that the institution which turned out as his education vine-yard would ultimately be the place he meets his death in the most unimaginable manner.
“From the information I have gathered from the students, it is alleged that Ojok often went to Nkrumah to watch soccer. On the day of his demise, it is still alleged that he had gone to demand money from a student who owed him,” Ndyabahika said.
However, when Marvin Mutunji, the newly appointed chairperson saw him, he asked Ojok for identification which he did not have.
“The students told me that when Mutunji over questioned him, Ojok decided to run. This provoked students to run after him and some started shouting thief. The result was his tragic death in the hands of a mob,” Ndyabahika said.
This sad story which has taken rounds on mostly social media still sends a chill down the spine of everyone who reads it. How can university students be capable of committing such an injustice on mere suspicion?
Adeke Anna Ebaju, a former guild president of the great institution also testifies of how she survived injury under the culture of “solidarity”.
“Just as any convoy would, we were moving around campus during campaigns speaking to students. But when we reached Lumumba hall, we were stoned. We had to turn back and save our lives,” Adeke said.
Similar incidents happened during this year’s guild campaigns. Gangs from rival camps fought and some of these exchanges resulted into injuries and bloodshed. All in the name of candidate support solidarity.
Is Makerere slowly developing a murdering culture?
Before it was pulled off the Makerere University Students’ Guild Facebook page, this is how a post by Humble Derick Wagooli, that gathered 24 likes on 12th April at 11:35 pm read;
“HAHAHAHA for us we don’t joke… another thief killed at the mighty Nkrumah hall today at 10:30. EHH NKRUMAH OYEE?? Eh activists oyee?? .. Feeling thankful”
The university guild president, Bala David Bwiruka, had this to say about the gruesome act;
“While culture and solidarity are very essential anthropologically, it is also not true that murdering is a culture at Makerere. This kind of solidarity that joins people to commit atrocities is evil and as leaders, we condemn it.”
Ndyabahika denies accusations that the entire students’ body is violent. He refers to the mob that killed Ojok as few ill-mannered isolated cases who will be arrested face the law.
“The solidarity culture is not dangerous. I don’t think we have dangerous culture in Makerere. It only gets bad when it goes extreme and some of the behaviors are intolerant. All these halls have had culture since they were established and I am sure it is important because it binds students together,” Ndyabahika said.
This is what a third year student of Journalism and Communication at Makerere University, John Blanshe Musinguzi posted on his Facebook page on Wednesday;
“That awkward moment when you don’t want to be identified as a Makerere University student. Today, I am planning to visit an office in town. My University identity card will be my entry ticket. I am just thinking, what if am asked; were you among those who lynched that innocent lad???!! Alas!!!”