By Kabuye Ronald
Students from East African Countries have been equipped on how to speak up and act against issues that affect them, their communities, the country and the region at large.
Addressing journalists at the Youth line forum office in Ntinda, over 30 student leaders from Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania exhibited appreciation for the week long convention saying it is going to help in uniting them, speak and act assertively but lawful against issues affecting them.
Muyinda Reagan, a student from Kyambogo University, Uganda condemned the state use of different measures and restriction to curtail the work of the student’s movements, activists and human rights defenders. He gave an example of Kenya where riot police is deployed to suppress student movements, in Tanziania where students are suspended or expelled from institution as a result of engaging in any movement hence facing high chances of not being enrolled in any university in the country again and in Uganda where arrests, torture and imprisonment of the activists and human rights defenders is the reward to those who stand up against injustices.
Speaking on behalf of the Kenyans, Jenifer Mukami Mbogo, the president of multimedia university of Kenya and deputy vice chairperson university president council of Kenya said they know that once they unite as students movements with all leaders, they shall mobilize and organize themselves to critic bad leadership and governance in the countries and also provide leadership and alternative policies on their concerns and how institutions need to be managed
Albert Maloba, the Chairperson of Universities president’s council of Kenya and also Moi University president, urged students across East Africa, to speak truth to power, to use the social media tool to capture injustices and share them widely with a call for action.
He further called upon the legal fraternity to provide pro-bono legal services to students, civil societies and donor community to avail financial, technical and moral resources to the student’s movements.
Ruth Asiimwe, a technical advisor of Youth Line Forum which convened the students for the grounding said that they have carried out the project with Tanzania youth vision association and Youth agenda Kenya to better the students across the region beyond what they learn from their institutions and how they can support one another across the region by talking to each other and advocating for issues that affect them and their nation.
“We agreed with our partners to put the students together to give them some grounding, whereby they sit and reflect on issues affecting them as students, their countries and east African community. We know that if students come together and they mobilize they can create the change that we want.” Said Asiimwe