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Massive security anticipated as MUBS students plot to hold demo over Balunywa

By Davis Mugabi

Security is expected to be tight tomorrow at Makerere University Business School (MUBS), after a plot by the students to hold a protest leaked.

The demo is reportedly in line with the failure by one of the guild aspirants to be nominated days ago for the guild race.

The Acting Principal, Prof. Moses Muhwezi, in a statement on Sunday, said he has been assured of maximum security ahead of tomorrow.

“I have informed all relevant Government and Security officials. I have been assured that there will be adequate security to protect the school property, staff and students. I call upon all staff to be at your work stations and continue to be wonderful employees for MUBS. Management will meet to take further administrative decisions,” said Prof. Muhwezi.

Prof. Muhwezi also clarified on a number of issues being said about MUBS lately.

“The School has been moving on well till recently when guild elections started. There have been a lot of lies on social media. Whereas the security and appropriate investigative authorities will provide details, I need to brief you on some of the issues; 1. The students’ elections affairs are governed by the Guild Constitution and the MUBS Guild Electoral Rules and Regulations for Conduct of Guild Elections. Students elect their own Electoral Commission. The role of Management, through the office of the Dean of Students and Guild Legal Advisor is to create the right environment to have the exercise undertaken smoothly. Management has not at all been involved in the ongoing guild elections. 2. The students constitution Article 81 provides qualifications for the Guild President candidate. One of these states: “A person is qualified to be Guild President if that person is a fully registered student of the School and has been on normal progress throughout the academic semesters of study (should not have obtained a retake in any semester)”. The Chairman of Electoral Commission requested the Guild Legal Advisor for an interpretation which he clearly did; emphasizing that any student who has ever had a retake cannot be nominated as a candidate. As the process requires, the Dean of Students sent the names of students who had picked nomination forms to the School Registrar to verify the academic status of each of the students. This was done. In the response from the School Registrar, one of the students, Juma Waswa Balunywa was reported to have had a retake in one of the previous semesters and therefore could not be nominated. 3. On the nomination day (7th March 2024), three candidates were successfully nominated and one, Juma Waswa Balunywa was not nominated, given the reason stated above,” said Muhwezi.

The Chaos

According to Prof. Muhwezi, Balunywa’s camp allegedly started provoking the camps of the other successfully nominated candidates. They reportedly went ahead to throw stones and destroyed school property.

“Some of the students including Juma Waswa Balunywa allegedly tried to fight the security staff that was at the front of the main building claiming they wanted to get the Principal. I do appreciate the security officers, who were fully armed but still used reasonable force even when they were provoked. At this point, the same group reportedly threw stones at the School official car (UBF 874K) which I use and smashed the front windscreen and roof glass. Security did their best to stop this group but a few students including Juma Waswa Balunywa allegedly still physically confronted the police and UPDF officers. They refused to take any orders given. Security then took those students to Jinja Road Police station. They were later on released. Mr Juma Waswa Balunywa was assisted to access his home,” clarified Prof. Muhwezi.

According to Prof. Muhwezi, “these were decisions of security and not Management.”

“Once security is in command, then Management cannot come in to give alternate orders. I must say I was disappointed to see posts apparently by my Senior and Mentor Prof Waswa Balunywa that “After all the hate campaign against me, Prof Muhwezi finally gets my son beaten and arrested. History”. I have seen other abusive posts. However, my duty is to do what is right, I won’t be diverted. I should also report that my Security Guard, Mr James Opolot, was attacked by unknown people in Nakawa Market. He is receiving treatment, we pray he recovers soon. 4. Today, 9th March 2024, I saw a recording by students calling upon students not to attend classes on Monday, 11th March 2024, because they need an explanation as to why a student was purportedly beaten and that he is in critical condition. I engaged our School Doctor to find out details about the hospitalized student. The Doctor has confirmed that the student has had a history of peptic ulcers and a low blood sugar, the student has no other significant medical concerns as of now. The student was transferred from Bethany Health Facility to Nsambya Hospital because management of Bethany was uncomfortable with the influx of students, which disrupted other activities. This case is being used for some hidden agenda. Management will continue to monitor and wishes him quick recovery.”

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