(By Estera Popowska)
Uganda's largest and third-oldest institution of higher learning, Makerere University Kampala (MUK) has called upon the Ugandan Government to build a perimeter wall around the campus to deter any terror attacks. The move comes following a devastating militant attacks on a University in neighbouring country Kenya in in which 148 people were killed.
Reacting on attacks on the Kenyan University, Dr. Tanga Odoi, the chairman of Uganda’s Makerere University Convocation said, “We are shocked with what happened during the Garissa terrorism attack where students lost lives and it should not happen here (in Makerere). We therefore, call upon government to build a perimeter wall to prevent such attacks.”
According Dr. Odoi, the perimeter wall is about 30kms and the cost would not be less than sh2b adding that “We need a perimeter wall to improve on security. Makerere has so many gates and therefore, we are prone to terrorism attacks.”
In a media briefing at Makerere Guest House on Thursday, Odoi recalled the attempts by the university administration to construct a perimeter wall in 2004/2005 at the cost of sh 2b but it collapsed because of using cheap materials.
Dr. Odoi alleged that the money was misused then. “The money was never accounted for,” he reportedly said.
Regarding the security of students who reside in hostels outside the University campus, Dr. Odoi said that security measures would be instituted to protect the students by ensuring that non-residence don't enter any hall or hostel. “Nobody should be allowed to enter a hall/residence unless he/she is a resident,” he reportedly said.
Established in 1922 as a technical school, Makerere University (MAK) is one of the oldest and most prestigious universities in Africa. In January of that year, the school, which was later renamed Uganda Technical College, opened its doors to 14 day students who began studying carpentry, building, and mechanics.
Today, Makerere University is composed of 9 Colleges and one school offering programmes for about 36,000undergraduates and 4,000 postgraduates.
Makerere was home to many post-independence African leaders, including former Ugandan president Milton Obote and lateTanzanian president Julius Nyerere. Former Tanzanian president Benjamin Mkapa current president of the DRC Joseph Kabilaand the former Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki are also Makerere alumni.
(Source: The New Vision)