Police at Makerere University has commended what they call intelligence work of the security services and the student body which has brought down strikes for the last academic year.
This, according to the police, has been done through the deployment of police officers in civilian clothes and willing students in various Halls of residences like Lumumba and Mitchell to gather information about those plannig strikes.
“We are always on the watch to curb any strike before it starts,” ASP Nickson Okello the Officer-in Charge of Makerere Police Station, said in an interview with Journalism@Mak on Friday.
ASP Okello was quick to add that they took an initiative to sensitise students about the outcomes of strikes especially during the orientation of the fresh students. They also engage students in leadership and patriotic lectures in order to ignite the love for their university.
Besides intelligence, ASP Okello says police carries out regular patrol of the university campus to ensure the security of all students and key installations of the University.
According to Okedi Lonnah, a student of industrial art and a resident of Mary Stuart Hall, security forces have provided a breathing environment for students. She says Mary Stuart residents have always been forced by students from the neighbouring Lumumba Hall to take part in strikes.
Becca Nansanga, a first year student of Education, says that she is pleased with the new culture of the use of non-violence adopted by Makerere University students.
According to Nassanga, this will improve students’ grades since there will be no time wasted in strikes. “I can now freely recommend a sister or brother to join Makerere,” she says.
Makerere University has for long been affected by strikes, usually at the beginning and towards the end of the semester.
Last month, during a symposium in the Main Hall organized by the Department of Journalism and Communication, Professor Barnabas Nawangwe, the Vice Chancellor, said that his administration had finally ended the culture of strikes. He thanked the student community for addressing issues in a civil manner without resorting to violence.
Photo by Alex Esagala