Freedom Square, which was once a perfectly green field is now riddled with large patches of mud, coursed through by tire tracks, following the Friday 11th economics exhibition.
The state of Freedom Square after the students' exhibition.
Square, which was once a perfectly green field is now riddled with large
patches of mud, coursed through by tire tracks, following the Friday 11th
Square remained littered with sheer amounts of disposables from the same event
till this week when the university started cleaning it in preparation for yet
another event, the Geopolitics Conference.
damage, according to several students diminished its symbolic and historical
significance while painting a bad image of the University management.
Lillian, a student who was in attendance of the aforementioned event, agreed
that it was the primary cause of the square's present state but claimed that
rain as well, which fell heavily, contributed significantly. According to her,
due to the constant movement of participants and all other concerned parties,
the already damp grounds were curved into by shoe soles and heels to arrive at
the appalling appearance.
students, such as Kajumba Specioza however attribute it to the dancers who
performed at the exhibition which Kateregga Benjamin, a student of the
exhibiting College, declares was intended to give this year's edition more
flair than its predecessors. Kateregga said that those in attendance enjoyed it
thoroughly though, the results have inspired negative sentiments towards his
student at COBAMS who declined to reveal her identity stated that the place was
filthy because "people litter" and "do not have the discipline
of taking things to the bin."
She added that some participant's products
were destructive to the grounds, citing an individual whose product was
"heavy" since he was "making concrete" on the lawn. This
particular act, however destructive, was justifiable since permission had been
granted by the University for such activity as long as the exhibition's purpose
was its motivation.
light of this, concerns and opinions have flared especially due to the fact
that the same grounds are hosting this year's Geopolitics Conference which
started today, October 17 and ends tomorrow, October 18.
Timothy, a student says this, "would be embarrassing to Makerere", whose
administration he accuses of double standards. He says the management claims to
be fencing off the grounds for its protection whilst letting such activities
that deface it to go on.
University's Public Relations Officer, Dr. Muhammad Kiggundu, expressed displeasure
in the Square's appearance but countered the accusations by stating,
"institutional activities are acceptable...these exhibitions are
educational" and this is why COBAMS was granted usage of the Square. It's
only failing, according to him, was in litter management which the university has
Kiggundu went on to say that, "the exhibition took place in the rainy
season and the machines used in the exhibition were heavy, requiring lorries to
carry them to the lawn....it is hard to predict the weather forecast when one
has booked months in advance." He added that events must go on despite the
seasons and their effect, citing the example of graduations which can't be
banned or suspended because of rain". He however suggested pursuit of
measures to lessen impact on the grounds such as the use of lifters to ferry
what he hoped will soothe sentiments, he stated that the freedom square has
looked like this in the past due to weather-related reasons but still heals
owing to the same and thus is nothing to worry about.
immensely impactful student's exhibition was held by the College of Business
and Management Sciences (COBAMS) aimed at exploring Students' innovations and
business ideas. It featured groups of ten members that were evaluated by
professionals and rewarded thereafter. This year's winners were an agribusiness
The Freedom square is one of Makerere University’s most iconic
landmarks that define the institution’s 97-year history. Located in front of
the Main Building and sandwiched between the Main Library and the School of
Social Sciences, the Square defines Makerere’s life. Graduation ceremonies as
well as students’ demonstrations take place here. Political rallies for both
the student politics and national leadership are held in Freedom Square.
In November 1938, when the then 16-year-old institution
started construction of its current Main Building, The Square was the venue for
the cutting of the first sod.
On 8th October 1970, it was in The Freedom Square that Presidents
Milton Obote of Uganda, Jomo Kenyatta of Kenya, Julius Nyerere of Tanzania and
Kenneth Kaunda of Zambia gathered to inaugurate Makerere as an autonomous
university from the University of East Africa (UEA).