Police Battle Rioting Students at Kabalega Secondary School

The Police in Masindi have been involved in running battles with students of Kabalega Secondary School who started a riot in the middle of the night in protest of new restrictions.

Information obtained by URN shows that the students started rioting after midnight in protest of a ban on mobile phones and the suspension of casual wear in the precincts of the school.

They reportedly smashed the glass panes in the dormitories and classrooms compelling the administration to call for police intervention.

The students became rowdy and attempted to block the police from accessing the school premises resulting in running battles for the better part of the night.

Albertine Region Police Spokesperson Julius Hakiza says that the students were planning to burn some mattresses in the dormitories by the time the police arrived.

Hakiza says that the police reacted promptly and put everything under control after more than three hours. Hakiza says that their surveillance team is still on the ground assessing the situation at the school and the neighbouring areas.

A teacher at the school who spoke to URN on condition of anonymity acknowledged that the students made a few destructions to the school properties but no injuries were recorded. He adds that a committee has now been set up to investigate the matter.

“Currently the students have resumed lessons and everything has been put under control. No student was injured or arrested but we are monitoring the situation. A committee has been instituted to investigate and come up with a comprehensive report on the strike,” he said.

Andrew Tumwesige, the School Headteacher declined to divulge more details saying he was still locked up in a crisis meeting at the school.

This is not the first-time students of Kabalega secondary school are striking. In 2010, a total of 1,250 students of Kabalega Secondary School were suspended after a violent strike. 

The students were protesting the appointment of Igidious Magara as their head teacher replacing David Turyagumanawe who was then transferred to Kitara Model Secondary School in Masindi Municipality.

During the riot, they burnt down two school stores and chased the headteacher and teachers from the school. They also beat up other students in Kijuura, a suburb of Masindi town, for refusing to join in the strike.

The school management together with security made a quick resolution and suspended the students. They also tentatively closed the school. 

In 2001, the school was closed and students were sent home on suspicion that they burnt the staff room block.

Then, the decision to close the school was reached during a meeting between the school board members, security agencies and the district leadership. The students then accused the school administration of supplying water to the nearby Masindi Hotel.

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