Uganda: Security tension at Makerere as senior lecturer is attacked with machetes

Uganda: Security tension at Makerere as senior lecturer is attacked with machetes

Written by URN

There is heightened tension at Makerere University following last week’s attack on Dr Robert Wandera, a senior lecturer of psychology.

Wandera was brutally attacked by machete-wielding assailants just a few meters away from his residence at Lumumba flats inside the university premises.

Cyrus Omara, the security chief at Makerere said the matter is under investigation by the Wandegeya police station. The incident is just one among a series of security breaches that have posed threats to the peaceful environment within the university premises.

Various locations within Makerere have now gained notoriety as hotspots where individuals with malicious intentions exploit opportunities to rob students’ property. In a previous interview with URN, the vice chancellor, Prof Barnabas Nawangwe, mentioned that the university had implemented several measures to improve safety and security.

These measures included limited entrance and exit points following the construction of a new perimeter wall. The aim was to create a restricted environment that would deny easy access to individuals with ill intentions who often bypass security checks.

In 2017, Makerere University police post released a report highlighting numerous cases of computer thefts. According to the report, between 2013 and 2016, a total of 178 laptop computers were stolen from students and staff. Additionally, several incidents of stolen mobile phones, burglary, and stolen car parts were also reported during the same period. 

Last year, Mary Stuart, one of the girls’ halls of residence at Makerere experienced a surge in theft cases which led the university management to deploy a full-time armed guard to secure the premises. Many students attributed the increase in theft to the closure of the boy’s Lumumba hall, which had been a deterrent to criminals. 

Abas Banya, Makerere University guild security minister says with faulty lighting in the halls and dark corners, criminals can hide and cause harm to students. Despite the announcement in April 2023 that the university had secured funding for the renovation of Lumumba hall, no works have commenced and the hall remains abandoned.

Following Wandera’s attack, Makerere University’s LCV councillor, Doreen Nyanjura, cautioned students and residents through her social media platform to remain vigilant while on campus. 

“I appeal to Makerere University community and the residents of Kampala at large to be vigilant and look out for any suspicious characters, especially at night. Lumumba Hall which was closed in 2021 for renovation should be expeditiously worked on and reopened. Its continued closure is a serious security threat to the university community,” she tweeted.

Omara reassured students that the incident involving Dr Wandera was an isolated case but acknowledged that some individuals take advantage of the incomplete perimeter wall to gain unauthorized access to the university.

Culled fro The Observer.

“We have patrol groups that patrol all those places every single day, we even had a [police truck] that stations inside the university at night and its role is to patrol the university all night. Just a few days ago, we even arrested a masquerader near Mary Stuart who was claiming that he is a former student,” he added. 

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