Making Sense of Makerere Guild Elections

Makerere Students went to polls on Friday April 7. By all accounts, Makerere is the best and perhaps largest university in Uganda and in the region. The election came after a two-week long campaign period and watching the process, more lessons are to be learnt.

Stick welding students clad in T-Shirts with labels GGB (Gongom Guard Brigade) this inscription means they are from Lumumba, one of the halls on the university. This is a security make up of the hall. every hall has this

Campus politics is of course somewhat different from the national elections and so to juxtapose the two maybe mistaking an elephant grass for sugarcane. Thought within universities, politics is played in different ways but the general characteristic of the polls especially in our higher institutions is extortion, academic mediocrity hence poor prospects of National leadership. While politics in such institutions should be basis for criticizing what is wrong in the country, it seems from the look of things, the reverse is true.

For purposes of clarity, I begin with the electoral process with the choosing of the electoral commission. Immediately campaigns commence, everyday, at least there is a rally in one of the halls of students’ residence on campus. After every procession, I go undercover trailing each of the candidates in a procession to make some observations and perhaps see what happens in these processions and where they go there after.

One of the student supporters wearing a mask at Makerere during the guild elections. PHOTO BY OKELLO HERBERT ANDREW

Majority of candidates have organized camps that base in their halls. Some have a reinforcement of former students and or hired mercenaries who will later mobilize crowds, make posters and pin them all over. Some take a surveillance role to see if the candidates’ posters are safe/ have not been torn by opponents.  Every day of a rally, one camp mobilized several students who converge in a hall that a particular candidate resides. Boxes with dozens of tot-pack waragi are distributed to the lucky few as motivation to charge for the rally.

Police begging students to remain calm at one of the rallies in Livingstone Hall

One of the most vivid campaign processions was of Mercy Faith Lakisa a UYD independent leaning Candidate. After a rally at Marystuart, the procession exits from the main gate to Wandegeya round about, Katanga slum, Kikumi-Kikumi, then to Kikoni and then back to campus climaxing at Africa Hall. While at the Marystuart rally, the atmosphere is raucous, students strolled into the box grounds others filling the staircase to the hall road as the occupants of the largest female hall on campus the “ladies” fondly referred to as “boxers” watch the proceedings from their room galleries, while others from the tower windows, openings in their dome-shaped spectacular Mary Stuart hall, a hall with the shadows of the past glory.

Next to the contestants set of chairs lay a table that sat young beautiful looking ladies with serious and busy faces dressed in Gomesi, others SCR members sitting around them in red gowns led by the culture minister. The boxes that sat in front of the tables were wrapped with white papers labeled “Elders Box” standing emphatically bigger than the rest and with an inscription, “No coins allowed” candidates are instructed to drop between 10,000 and beyond to receive blessings from elders. Table occupants keep looking at the candidates with great anticipation.

Paul Kato together with Simon Wanyera being carried during the final guild rally on Thursday this week at Makerere University.

Within the procession, a get to learn that Lakisa is a 3rd year Dental Surgery student from Africa Hall and an old girl of Gayaza High School who had lost in UYD primaries after attaining 21 against 24 votes of William Karamagi.  The campaigns are full of life with excited young ladies and men some wielding sticks profusely sweating and dancing to the rhythmically deafening noise of sounds from the music system sagging on a canter that walks like a tortoise. Traffic is still at Wandegeya round about as thousands throng the streets. Students proceed to Katanga, a slum in the valley between Mulago and Makerere University hills. This street has attracted several businesses including students’ hostels. While here students carry their heads through the windows if their rooms while others stand at the balcony of the buildings to cheer the candidate. The life, enthuse that comes with excitement on the streets. It sweeps everyone off the street including children who follow the procession with baskets of sweet bananas along.

Lakisa is to later garner a total of 1,567 followed by William Karamagi a UYD flag bearer who got 1,041. In total, 13,508 votes were cast with 423 invalid votes, Paul Kato emerges victor after he swept the polls with 5205 votes drawing the largest number of votes from his school, School of Education. His nearest challenger, Abdu Kareem Ziritwaula managed 4,369 votes.
The tightly contested race saw the usual candidates posters going up buildings , tree branches, and electricity poles all over the university and the neighboring suburbs of Nakulabye, Kikoni, Wandegeya and Kikumi-kikumi amid deafening, dancing and drumming by the swarms of rowdy students clad in their chilly-red undergraduate gowns.

Kato Paul, Guild President Elect, Photo by Kizza Ali

This year’s was a tense campaign. Just a day students went to the polls, police made orders that no politicians were to be entertained at the students’ rallies. Before the orders could sink into the students, Col. Kizza Besigye, the Forum for Democratic Change –FDC strong man had already  sneaked in the university accessing it through one of the dozens of illegal entrances and later be disguised in a Prado belonging to a one Doreen Nyanjura. Presence of the Police at the entrances busing themselves with searching each and every car to rid of any sort of cockroaches in case it disguised as Besigye will later look silly on realizing the man they are looking for is already inseparable with the students.

Students retreat to taking cover after shots as police exited Besigye from Makerere Guild Polls. PHOTO: OKELLO HERBERT ANDREW

Stones flying in the air will later exchange with bullets teargas and spray in the clash leading to car glass breakages as well as students and policemen sustaining injuries from the pelting stones. This just like the previous elections has been fused with national politics driven by money, oratory and later a fair amount of shallowness exhibited by not following issues but rather following the comic, the funny candidate. Candidates with funny and heavy vocabulary will be considered darlings. Most eye-catching in this election are slogans such as kowtow in their poohoo, tang tang buu nuguu among others.

A polling registrar displaying a ballot paper during the tallying process at Faculty of Arts

A student lies on ground after being overpowered by booze during the campaigns

Makerere campaigns just like national politics are full of mudslinging (usually called chemical), humor especially with emotions that are carried n the faces of the supporters, wacky ideas and then those campaign strategies such as one-o- one and door-to-door strategy as employed by one of the independent candidates James Kazungu who eventually garner a whooping on vote out of the 13,508 ballots cast that has buried him to criticism and ridicule.

We congratulate Kato Paul upon fighting for his share and we wish him a good time in budgeting for his 210millions. GRCs can afford to appease him in any way to attain ministries.

MAKERERE 60 % TUITION POLICY, HOW IT WAS BORN,BURRIED SEE SUMMARY

Students went on a week-long strike in April in protest against the debt-ridden university’s controversial fee payment policy.

Makerere has been demanding UGX21 billion (US$6.3 million) from about 45% of the 39,417 students currently enrolled.

Problems with tuition fee payment have placed the institution into debt and rendered it unable to meet financial obligations, especially to staff who have been demanding salary arrears.

The policy students were striking over in April, established in 2012, required students to pay at least 60% of their tuition fees by the sixth week of a semester, which allowed them to register, submit coursework and sit for exams.

But the policy provoked unrest every time the university tried to enforce it, and students then requested that all tuition fees rather be paid by the end of the twelfth week.

The government represented by Prime Minister Dr Ruhakana Rugunda  and Inspector General of Police General Kale Kayihura  convened a meeting with Makerere University Council Finance Committee Chair Thomas Tayebwa, Vice-chancellor Professor Ddumba Ssentamu and students leaders and resolved to shelve the policy.

Critics contend that government should not interfere in the running of universities if it does not provide them with alternative means to raise revenue to run their activities and pay salaries however, i find this lame. The same critics will dis government if it doesn’t intervene since this is a public institution.

Makerere University Tuition Policy Dilemma, how it was born, burried by Government- See summary

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Students went on a week-long strike in April 2016 in protest against the debt-ridden university’s controversial fee payment policy. Pun video below
https://prezi.com/embed/hsi83_5ksarw/?bgcolor=ffffff&lock_to_path=0&autoplay=0&autohide_ctrls=0&landing_data=bHVZZmNaNDBIWnNjdEVENDRhZDFNZGNIUE43MHdLNWpsdFJLb2ZHanI5Z1F5U3cxTEFoVmNkelJ3Q0JBM3JWVS9RPT0&landing_sign=8lZ79dLcOiXrAokVsBLxkV5n3Qtw5Pf4T1-HjvY1b1Y

Makerere has been demanding UGX21 billion (US$6.3 million) from about 45% of the 39,417 students currently enrolled.

Problems with tuition fee payment have placed the institution into debt and rendered it unable to meet financial obligations, especially to staff who have been demanding salary arrears.

The policy students were striking over in April, established in 2012, required students to pay at least 60% of their tuition fees by the sixth week of a semester, which allowed them to register, submit coursework and sit for exams.

But the policy provoked unrest every time the university tried to enforce it, and students then requested that all tuition fees rather be paid by the end of the twelfth week.

The government represented by Prime Minister Dr Ruhakana Rugunda  and Inspector General of Police General Kale Kayihura  convened a meeting with Makerere University Council Finance Committee Chair Thomas Tayebwa, Vice-chancellor Professor Ddumba Ssentamu and students leaders and resolved to shelve the policy.

Critics contend that government should not interfere in the running of universities if it does not provide them with alternative means to raise revenue to run their activities and pay salaries however, i find this lame. The same critics will dis government if it doesn’t intervene since this is a public institution.

 

OPEN LETTER TO DR. STELLA NYANZI: I love your boobs though your head is sexier

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Cartoon by Senior Cartoonist Atukwasize Chris Ogon. C/O Daily Monitor

Hail nudity! Hail human rights! Hail MISR! For you are all here to stay.

Dear Nalongo Dr Stella Nyanzi, my name is Davidson Ndyabahika, a Makerere University journalism finalist. I was “forced to smile” on hearing that you had received the keys to your office yesterday, after you undressed in front of the nation.

Since your sharp pointed boobs have been trending for hours now, I take the rare opportunity to address you sex goddessness professor!

You received hostile responses from different people, including your fellow professors. It is regrettable that they were too imprudently blind to see that you were making our institution glorified. Indeed we made history. Precedent has been set. And don’t be surprised if our global ranking improves – thanks to your erect boobs.

You know I have been your secret admirer for long. I fell in love with your literature sometime ago when my colleague recommended your pieces to me before elections. She’s  such a horny crafter, he had praised you.

Mama Stella, I am also honestly annoyed by those intolerant folks who up to now do not know that we have rights and they must be protected. Who is Lokodo to come and impose his sanctions on us ‘mbu’ decay of our morals? In Makerere, we are purely mature and we have for long enjoyed our optical nutrition from our fellow classmates with their seductive cleavages.

And I’m sure Prof. Mahmood Mamdani’s must have feasted on such succulent boobs. Your nudes were on point and I bet the good old professor enjoyed the video. You see even the VC came running to drool at your sexy body! And when he and other male professors had watched, pocketing, the VC declared that your office be unlocked!

Tel me this Dr Nyanzi: how did you think of this great idea? I marvel at the richness of your brains, sexy brains I should add!

Lokodo should have done a quick Google search before reacting. How could a full minister, moreover a Reverend Father, order for the arrest of a research fellow? Does he even know that you are a Nalongo? Why can’t he go and arrest those women in Karamoja? Hasn’t he seen them walk naked in his home area?

He doesn’t know our ethics; he should first come for lectures from you my dear professor. It is very normal to undress and stress your point. Let him deal with it.

On a personal note, looking at your boobs, I fantasized you at 18. Look, if your body can send Lokodo, Mahmood, and Ddumba pocketing, I cannot imagine what your male classmates went through.

I also want to thank you for helping us change our optical diet. Isn’t a restricted diet always monotonous? We have been seeing immature boobs from these little campus babes but you surely spiced our optical nutrition. We are grateful!

As university students, we are sorry Prof. that we had not been introduced to this new tactic. We shall employ it when need arises in our tuition struggles.

All our ladies have learnt from your example and all we can say is a woman body is such a powerful tool to attain anything in this world.

All those who have accused you I should say are simplistic in nature. They did not know how you save this institution. For starters, you managed to teach fellow professors that amongst them, they can find other bootylicious females like you for grabs instead of feasting on our underage female students.

I was shocked to hear Prof. Mamdan claim that you were not teaching. Who the hell does he think he is tell you to eat chalk? Unless the mode of teaching is through twitter, WhatsApp, facebook, blogging, Flickering, instagraming, etc do not accept to go back to chalk, that is also a right. We must liberate education through social media.

Let Mamdani tell his PHD students to go online and you can supervise them there.

 Sincerely

Davidson Ndyabahika

 

Makerere Guild Tribunal Orders Re-vote for Education Students

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Supporters of guild candidates at a rally recently. PHOTO CREDIT: Zahara Abdul

By Davidson Ndyabahika

MAKERERE: An election tribunal probing the irregularity allegations in the College of Education and External Studies has declared a re-election in the college.

Makerere University’s Guild Election  Tribunal yesterday evening shunned cancelling of education results of the recently concluded guild elections and decided the a re-vote in the entire College of Education and External Studies (CEES).

The tribunal’s decision came after a long period of standoff at in the university after the guild elections what been declared in the independent UYD’s Bazil Mwotta’s favor elections. The tribunal which is headed by a university council appointee has reached a conclusion after carrying out a controversial vote recount at the guild office yesterday afternoon where even after no substantial difference, members decided that the contested electorate should go back to the ballot this week.

According to a highly placed source in the tribunal, the entire college is to have a revote on Wednesday 23rd 2016 this week to end this controversy between Roy Ssemboga and Mwotta Biddemu Bazil.

The electoral commission on Friday March 11 2016 declared Mr. Mwotta Bazil the winner of the hotly contested election with 4591 votes against Ssemboga Roy’s 4276 out of the 12,852 valid votes counted. The election which observers have declared punctuated by intimidation, deleting people from Facebook groups, voter bribery, mafias among others shall be saved after the Wednesday Election.

A similar incident happened in Makerere during the academic year 2008/2009 when the former guild president Mr. Shaban Ssenkubuge’s victory was contested and the matter was resolved in high court. He later became the guild president and according the information that we have, he was the last guild president to come from the College of Education.

Whether Mwotta will break this 6 year all drought of no guild president by the College of Education, the Wednesday election will tell.

Makerere Final Year MASSCOM Class set Date for Dinner Gala

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By Davidson Ndyabahika

zaharaThe laborious panting explanations from the coordinator and anticipation that goes on throughout the day among the 4th year Journalism and Communication students at Makerere University tells volumes about how much the dinner gala has changed the mentality of the students in the Department.

The celebration mood is in gear two (2), full of a riot of color, everyone a little more hyped up than they should be.

How ready should a the department be, with a month away from the annual finalists dinner gala that is to be graced by the distinguished dignitaries and other media guru’s as well as the department’s gurus as well as gracefully dressed couples? Majority of fourth year journalism & communication students are asking themselves that much, as the department gets into ‘standby mode’ for the finalists dinner scheduled for April at Imperial Royal hotel in Kampala.

Publicity for this dinner has been and is still all over social media, and word of mouth.

In a release by the coordinator of this dinner gala Mr. Derrick Senyonga, the event is intended to happen before exam time on April 29, 2016.

Dinner costs

Mr. Senyonga who said the dinner fee will be 65000 shillings for singles and 120000 for couples boasted of how it is worth celebrating after a long marathon of 4 years struggle.buffet

“This money will cater for a cake, entertainment (we intend to have a live band and possibly a comedian), Red Carpet Photo Shoot (Free soft copies and DVD will be given out after), Excellence Awards, After Party and so much more,” said Mr. Ssenyonga.

The event which is aimed at socializing for the last time together shall be strictly attended by finalists however a different charge for non-finalists has been set to those who want to attend as dates.

Giving awards

The final year students of journalism and communication plan to award gifts ad certificates of recognition and appreciation to different outstanding lecturers, students’ leaders, support staff as well as alumni.Buffet-Millennium-Stryker-Sapphire-Whoismillennium

“Previous dinners have always awarded outstanding individuals say lecturers with wrapped gifts. We however thought it wise that a certificate can serve a better purpose. Therefore, the award is a certificate. Students will nominate and vote for fellow students, Lecturers, support staff and alumni in different categories. The winner in each category will receive an award,” the coordinator highlighted.

Dinner table reservations

According to the dinner gala organisers, there will be special tables for reservations which go for six hundred thousand shillings (600,000) for 10 people irrespective of sex.

“All you have to do is identify the 10 people and submit in names to which a table Number will be allocated. In cases where individuals can’t mobilize and fill a table, they can submit in names and the organisers help them find more people,” said Ssenyonga.

He added; “Payments can be made to the dinner representative in your class. Any member who wishes to attend should confirm with at least half the payment by 8th April. This will help smooth planning.”Picture2

 Department ready to support

The department is doing all it can to ensure its year of dinner gala is a success. This, however, is coming at a high financial cost to students. The department has offered to lobby for the financial funding of part of the dinner costs so have the costs lowered.

Ismail Kasozi vows to defend Mwotta’s victory

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Mr. Kasozi Ismail with a firm hand shake with the people’s president Mr. Bazil Mwotta yesterday

Kasozi Ismail a 2nd year student of Bachelor of Industrial Fine Art at the Margaret Trowell School of Industrial and Fine Arts (MTSIFA) and former guild presidential aspirant has vowed to crush anybody who  tries to play around with the victory of the newly elected guild president Mr. Bazil Biddemu Mwotta.

In the recently concluded guild presidential elections at Makerere University, Mr. Kasozi got 456 votes beating FDC’s Dick Ainomugisha Rogers who got 399 votes of the 13,136 ballots cast.

In this election, Mr. Mwotta got a thumping victory of 4591 votes beating thoroughly UYD flagbearer Mr. Ssemboga Roy who has since sought redress in the election tribunal.

Kasozi who throughout the campaign was largely known as Rasta made remarks while congratulating the students’ president at College of Education and External Studies (CEES) GRC open rally at complex yesterday.

His statements come after some leaders who claim to have been rigged out in an election and in particular the College of Education.

It should be noted that the college of Education which is Mwotta’s home voted overwhelmingly for him to later make in winner of the day.

The hair stylist does music and business and deals in car spare part dealings apart from studying.