On the mid morning of 5th Nov 2010 At Makerere University Faculty of Computing and Informatics Technology FCIT. There arose astudents protest against a tuition payment policy that required them to pay 100% of all the university tuition before sitting for the tests the were scheduled the next day.
The students had been preparing to sit for the tests that were scheduled to begin on 6th November 2010, however the faculty administration issued a notification that required students to pay 100% in order to sit for the second round of tests. It should be noted that the first round of tests was conducted in a similar manner where students by then were required to pay 60% of the tuition in order to do round one tests. Many students close to average missed round one tests because they did not have the 60% tuition requirement. Their only hope to avoid possible retakes or missed coursework in their results was the second round of Tests.
As we approached the weekend a lot of romour had started moving like wild fire about a possible demonstration by the students who had no other option but to consider unanimously putting across their grievances to the Faculty management and University at large who had always given a deaf ear.. Key student leaders at the faculty together with a few notables breafly met and considered to offer the only lacking factor, organization!. Led by Kakaire Wilber, They moved to all lecture halls and expressed their opinion to students who actually were too waiting for such a leadership to give guidance in the matter and communicated that the following day at 10:00am, they would all converge at the faculty administrative block to help themselves about the matter. The elder students put it across that they had seen it all at this faculty about this policy and had identified one single activity that they always engage in to overcome the policy. Demonstrations at this faculty had been witnessed before since the faculty has every year tried to implement the 100% tuition requirement every semester but students have always risen up to challenge it and they have always accepted the 60% requirement for test two as well. They were yet to see the biggest protest from students this time. However by Thursday evening, the faculty management had been alerted and they had reduced the percentage to 80% requirement for the tests . They communicated through the Faculty president Asiimwe Paddy who but the students were hesitant and insisted on 60% as usual.
On the d-day which was Friday, it all looked cold until 10:00am as all students were getting impatient since there seemed to be no communication from anybody , however when the specified time came, Kakaire Wilber and his right Man Ngobi Micheal, Bwire Ronald together with Ntwata Robert the then Academic Minister were set to begin it. They begun from the ground floor of Block B of the faculty alerting students to wind up all their work , Secure their Laptops, vacate the building and converge at the administrative Block A , they further insisted that nobody was to be found inside when they returned from level six. They did the same to the rest of the lecture halls and students who were having lectures at the time were stopped immediately. Its worth Notting that Mr Asaph Tweheyo was one of the lecturers who's lectures were stopped when he begged for one minute to wind up, As kakaire re-echoed " Only One minute" before the class. They named it the bottom up approach. Those who were on the last floor of the building (level 6) were only given time enough to walk out immediately.
By this time Block B ground floor and the outside compound was impassable since all the lecture halls had been swept empty not leaving any one behind giving an estimate of over 1000 students. who were waiting for the next move rather command. They then walked unanimously to Block A. where The dean of students Dr. Josephine Nabukenya as claimed closed herself in her office and was unreachable. The students were very angry with the faculty administrators who were around though they kept calm and put across their demands. Within the next five minutes , the administration had agreed that let the tests be done on 60% however the students were not moved, they wanted it documented and not just by mouth. Dr. Jude Lubega who was the only visible administrator around, was put under pressure to draft the document with the registrar and brought it to the students. however the students insisted that they wanted it to be a policy from now on since they were tired of having these demonstrations every semester. It was around mid day when the students decided that since it being a university policy, By this time they had been joined by the Guild president and police. They had to proceed to the main building under the command of Wamanghe Fred who was aguild aspirant for 2009/10 where efforts to see the Vice chancellor were futile. The guild president Shabab Senkubuge then decided that they see the University secretary who intern invited them to his office and said nothing but sided with them. He then tried to call the V.C but he ignored his class and resorted to calling the Dean of FCIT who also dint answer her calls until he contacted the Faculty PRO Micheal Niyetegeka who picked up though could not respond to the matter given its gravity . The University Secretary factually told the dean that it was only three weeks to the final exams were students are mandated to pay 100% thus there was no need to cause the demonstration by insisting on 100%. The University secretary later came out of the office and met with the other students who were locked out of the main building by the Police to address them. He promised them that the 60% agreement had been reached and from then it would be a policy for all tests.
It was at this time that the students with drew to their faculty to celebrate the achievement they had reached. on reaching the faculty, they were addressed by the guild president and a few students who had played a key role in negotiation for a change in the policy. These grounds adjacent to the new building where the address was made are until today called "kaka Grounds" Naming them after kakaire wilber who was commonly known as "kaka" it being short of his Name.
However, the tests were canceled the following weekend and pushed to the next weekend. Even though there were threats that they were to be done at 100% in the course of the next week, The tests were later successfully completed at 60% tuition payment.
Its however worth noting that The faculty administration has since then not taken things lightly and they have summoned four students from the faculty who they think played a key role in the protest. Rumor has it that the protest caused them a financial loss of over 40 million shillings that they could have collected from the possible retakes that the demonstrators avoided. These four students Where kakaire Wilber, Wamanghe Fred, Ntwatwa Robert and Bwire Ronald, They later came to be known as the TOP FOUR students at this Faculty for saving Thousands of students from missing the Test. These students were later given warning latters by the faculty administration as they could not just let it pass despite its success.
"If this demonstration was not successful, more than half of the third year class would not graduate due to missing coursework."
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