The Head of Department Public and Comparative Law, school of law Makerere University Prof. John Jean Barya says that the situation in Makerere University is unprecedented.
Prof. Barya says that Makerere University has never had a situation where university administration seeks to directly antagonize both staff and students. “What we have been having is that students and staff having been having disputes with government in terms of responsibilities of government in public institutions”.
Adding “But now it is management that is seeking to antagonize both staff and students by removing their rights”
He said that the management has either never heard of rights or if they have heard about it, they don’t fully appreciate them and therefore, it is the responsibility of both staff and students to make sure that this ground which is being lost has reclaimed.
Barya argues both students and staff to work together to roll back the anti-democratic and anti-human rights stunts of management.
He recommends that efforts should be made to strengthen both the consciousness and organization of both political organizations and civic society. “If this is not done, these rights will remain only on papers. Rights are only realized if actively promoted and defended”
“There is a need to directly challenge the existing regimes so that they are forced in the long run to act in the interest of the people.” Barya adds.
Prof. Barya said this when he was delivering his key note speech on a public lecture at Makerere University organized by the school of Law’s Network of Public Interest Lawyers, the East Africa Network of University based Law Clinics and The Pan African Lawyers Union of Tanzania under the them: The shrinking space on the Right to Freedom of Expression and Assembly.
He furthermore says that the challenge can be undertaken by different actors and only political parties and limited civil societies and that the role should be extended to religious institutions, student organizations, cultural organization and trade unions.