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15 students Arrested as Others go on Hunger Strike at Kigezi High School

The students were unhappy about a decision by the management to deploy police and security guards at an illegal exit out of the school behind the boys’ dormitories. The exit is nicknamed Cliff by the students.

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Police in Kabale has arrested a group of 15 Kigezi High School students following confusion at the school that saw hundreds of students go on a hunger strike.

 

The confusion started on Wednesday afternoon when male students at Kigezi High School refused to eat their lunch. The students were unhappy about a decision by the management to deploy police and security guards at an illegal exit out of the school behind the boys' dormitories. The exit is nicknamed Cliff by the students. 

 

The illegal exit has been used by students of the school for over 30 years to play truant. Students use the exit to go to Kabale town. 

 

The students claim that the guards deployed at the illegal exit have been extorting money from them.

 

The students are also unhappy over the suspension of 10 students. The students were suspected to be mobilising their colleagues to participate in a strike.

 

The students reportedly assaulted the guards yesterday with stones.

 

Benon Twinomujuni, the school’s head teacher, says that the current standoff at the school stems from the suspension of those 10 students. The students refused to eat their lunch and have declined today's morning porridge.

 

Efforts by Kabale district top officials to convince the students to call off their hunger strike have been fruitless since yesterday. The students in turn demanded that the suspended students first be recalled and the police presence at the school withdrawn. 

 

Last night police also arrested a group of 15 students (names withheld) for inciting violence and they are being held at Kabale central Police station.

 

Today the school administration and district security authorities have met with the students but the two parties failed to strike a compromise.

 

Kabale district internal security Officer Robert Nabimanya says that the demands by the students are illegitimate and security authorities will not listen to them as the route is illegal and that whoever wants to leave the school should use the school gate.

 

He told the students that the students have no choice but listen and allow police to do its work.

 

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Kabale district police commander Bosco Arop says that the students must concentrate on what took them to school and not escaping from school. Arop further revealed that the police will not hesitate to pick the students who are inciting violence among others instead of concentrating on their studies.

 

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Rev. Capt. Wilson Byarugaba the Kigezi Diocesan Education Secretary for post primary education says that the school was founded by the church and that the Christians values cannot be compromised.

 

Byarugaba says that the students must respect the rules and regulations or else face the consequences.

 

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