Two students of Gulu University were on Tuesday arrested by the police for allegedly inciting violence. They have been identified as Job Tumusiimwe and Alumansi Katongole.
They were part of the 672 government-sponsored students who were protesting against the administration over their food and living out allowances.
The aggrieved students claim that they did not receive their upkeep allowances during the first semester following disruptions caused by the COVID-19 lockdown.
They accused the University of paying them only Shillings 670,000 instead of Shillings 880,000 in cumulative arears.
Genius Ibabaza, one of the affected students pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Medicine revealed that the Government disburses Shillings 880,000 for each student yet the University is paying them less without any explanation.
Shadic Ssempijja explained to URN that when they reported back to University on November 1, 2021 following the reopening of education institutions by President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni they discovered that allowances sent to cater for rent, transport, internet and welfare were reduced yet their rent has been hiked.
Nancy Lakop, a privately sponsored student in the Faculty of Education and Humanity decried the arrest of their colleagues as unfair as they were holding a peaceful demonstration to demand a response from the university management.
The University Vice-Chancellor Prof. George Openyjuru Ladah disclosed that the students are being paid Shillings 7,000 per day while at the campus in a semester.
He clarified that during the lockdown, the government-sponsored students were not entitled to any pay, thus the reduction.
The Aswa River Region Police Spokesperson, David Ongom Mudong confirmed the development, saying that they responded to an alarm by the University management who were locked up in their offices and surrounded by rowdy students.
“The University authorities tried to engage with the students but without fruitful results which prompted the anti-riot police to respond, and two ring leaders were arrested and detained at Gulu Central Police Station for inciting violence,” Ongom said.
Ongom noted that much as the aggrieved students had a concern to raise, the method used to present their issues were uncalled for and implored the students’ representatives to explore dialogue to resolve the impasse.