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Makerere University suspends three over bullying

by Editorial Team
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By Eddie Ssejjoba                         

Makerere University has suspended three students and issued warning letters to three others for allegedly bullying new students popularly referred to as ‘freshers’.

It is alleged that the students were involved in bullying ‘freshers’, including physically assaulting them, forcing them to jog and destroying university property.

Ritah Namisango, the university principal public relations officer, confirmed the suspension and issuance of warning letters to the culprits, but declined to identify the affected students. She, however, said the “university re-affirms zero tolerance to bullying, physical assault and
destruction of property.”

Namisango, however, did not mention how long the students would remain on suspension, but warned that “any member of the university who is involved in bullying students or staff, physical assault and destruction of property faces disciplinary action.”
She affirmed that the disciplinary action was still on course.

Namisango said, in a statement, that bullying is not tolerated at Makerere University.

“The culture of bullying, forced jogging, physical assault and destruction of university property is unacceptable,” she stressed, adding that the university management would continue to enforce disciplinary measures against students who engage in unacceptable behaviour and culture of harassing fellow students.

In 2019, the university administration banned Saturday morning exercises popularly known as ‘jogging’, citing harassment of fresh students.

It had become a culture in all halls of residence for continuing students to force fresh students to wake up at dawn every Saturday to jog around the campus half naked. But many students not used to the culture had expressed discomfort, saying whereas it was healthy, there was need for consent and should be voluntary.

It is said those who decline are harassed and this practice had been going on in the nine halls of residence, including Nkrumah, University, Livingstone, Africa, Complex, Mitchel, Mary Stuart, Lumumba and Nsibirwa.

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