By Katongole Kiwanuka – Two more strikes took centre stage today in Uganda’s capital Kampala as students of Makerere University took to the streets to protest a 100 per cent hike in the tuition fees while workers of a beauty products company – Movit Industries rioted in protest of underpayment and reported sexual harassment.
The strikes at Makerere University – a major public university started with a peaceful demonstration at the Freedom Square within the University until Police intervened to yield to running battles around the university.
The university authorities are reported to have raised fees from an average of $1500 to $3000 starting with the next academic year. The student’s burnt a Kiosk near the university guild canteen and the rioters broke into the MTN mobile money shop and made off with over Shs 700,000.
In a statement released by the University earlier on Friday Morning, the university said the Auditor General’s proposal to raise fees to sh6m per year had been shelved awaiting further consultations. The university spokesperson, Ritah Namisango, said in a statement that the management and university council, the institution’s top most decision-making organ required by law to set tuition fees, were yet to discuss the proposal.
Meanwhile, at least 10 people were injured at the head offices of Movit products in Namasuba – Kampala suburb as the police and military police fired tear gas and live bullets into the workers of Movit products who were demanding pay rise.
The workers staged a sit down strike at their factory demanding improved pay. Rose Namusoke, one of the workers at Movit products said that the company pays each of the female workers 30,000 shillings and 40,000 shillings to male workers per month.
Preliminary reports indicated that some workers sustained gunshot wounds in the melee.