Makerere University, the largest institution of higher learning in Uganda over time has remained a place where idlers and criminals enter in and take out freely.
It has three legal unrestricted main gates and several path ways with large number of students, staffs and vendors making it impossible to differentiate who is legally inside the university premises and who is not.
The installation CCTV cameras, police patrols and ongoing construction of perimeter wall fence has not threatened these criminals from entering and disturbing students and other stakeholders within the University.
ASP Masingano Jude Elifazi, the OC Operations Makerere Police Station said police have stepped up their gears to curb crime within the University and the Closed-Circuit Television (CCTV) cameras have helped in guiding police to crime spots.
“Increased foot and motorized patrols, visible deployment at key areas (black spots), sensitization of students about crime trend and black spots. CCTV cameras has acted as a lead in areas where the police cannot be present and are tools of intelligence especially in strikes, vehicle vandalism,” said Masingano.
Number of phones and computers reported to the police from 2016-2019 as in police crime report book is as shown in the column graph below.
Students or other communities need to be aware of dangerous places at night around campus. They are as shown in the map below;\
Green Icon-Main Entry points
Purple Icon-Path Ways
Black Icon-Black Spots
These criminals pretend to be asking for directions, some request for phones to make calls and others act like students but later disappear with the students’ properties. They mostly target the first years though even continuing students have lost their properties in the hands of these criminals.
Students lose their properties within the University premises and when getting out at night as thugs hide in these black spots to attack students moving alone at night.
Twemanye winnie, a fourth year student of Journalism and Communications explains in a video below, how she lost her phone to a stranger whom her friends thought he was an evening student.
Denis Odoc, 3rd year student doing Bachelor of Arts in Social Sciences explains in a video below how his phone was taken right from classroom by a cone man.
Twinomujjuni Catherine, a 4th year student doing Bachelor of Journalism and Communication in the video explains how she lost her property behind Lumumba and in Central Teaching Facility 1.
Students are given some advice that they can apply to avoid being attacked by these thugs or cone men are;
Do not move alone at night at least find a friend to move with.
Never leave your properties without someone looking at them, whenever there are strangers, you should move with your properties.
Not everyone seated in class or anywhere with you are students, be careful about your neighbors.
Be cautious about the black spots at night.
Make sure you protect yourself before the security personnel come in.
Makerere Security Minister, Tyson Mutangana advised students to be calm as the Guild Council and the police are working hand in hand with administration to install more security cameras. He explains more on the audio below.
The University administration should find a way of closing some path ways created by students and start checking each and everyone entering in to the University if the people living inside are to be secured.
Finish construction of the perimeter fence in order to minimize unnecessary entry into the University premises. It is hard to control someone entering in because they can use any area to enter in.
Police should constantly patrol places with black spots at night if security is to be prevailed in Makerere University. They should also start checking people who uses the three Main Gates and trying patrolling these path ways.
Makerere University will be a safe place for all the community around if the security personnel and administration work together to improve on the identified insecurity sections within the University.