Makerere University on Wednesday evening announced a list of suspended students who had actively participated in the demonstration of the 15% tuition increment as other twenty six students stood pending.
The list featured Frank Bwambale, a fourth year student pursuing Bachelors in Journalism and Communication. He is sponsored by MasterCard Foundation. The MasterCard Foundation has released a statement condemning the violent crackdown on Makerere students.
Bwambale says he was shocked after reading his name in the suspension letter yet he had actually not participated in the demonstration.
Bwambale says his name was added due to the wrangles with the university’s junior staff namely; the public relations officer, Mathias Semanda and Gordon Murangira, the vice chancellor’s personal assistant. Murangira is among the university’s staff accused of torturing students and is under investigation by a select committee.
During his career as a freelancer, Bwambale did a story on how MasterCard students’ tuition was swindled by some university management authorities. The story was published in the Observer Newspaper.
After the story was published, he says he received a phone call from Semanda who threatened him. Bwambale says he even has the phone call recordings as he seeks legal redress.
“I have the phone call recordings with me as I seek legal redress on this issue. Semanda remained me of how I am at campus because of the vice chancellor’s mercy and blah blah and concluded with ‘take care mtcheew’ comment.” Bwambale wrote on Whatsapp.
On August 22 when the strike sprung up, Bwambale says he was in class. “I was in class with Dr. Fred Kakooza as the strike boomed outside class. My colleagues also read that story by Damalie Muhakye of Daily Monitor showing my suspension. I kept away from campus for a week as the strike hit even outside campus,” he says.
The student says he was shocked when he read in the Daily Monitor that he was one of the suspended students involved in the strike.
Last year when he was defeated in Guild Representative Council elections, he swore never to participate in Makerere politics.
“I will never participate again in Makerere politics, I have played my role as a student and I now have to concentrate on my studies,” he said last year.