Mak to hold delayed guild polls next week

Makerere University guild presidential candidate for National Unity Platform (NUP) Lawrence Alionzi being carried by one of his supporters during campaigns in July 2022. PHOTO/ COURTESY

What you need to know:

  • The polls were suspended in July following the death of a student during campaigns.

Makerere University is set to hold its 88th guild elections next week. The elections were suspended after the death of one student during guild campaigns in July.

The polls will be conducted virtually next Wednesday and according to the newly elected chairperson of electoral commission, Mr Edrine Nsobanyi, there are more than 20,000 voters so far registered in the system.

“We are very prepared to hold these elections. All the necessary requirements have been provided. Students will use Makerere Wi-Fi and those outside the campus will use their data to vote because it does not take much data bundles,” Mr Nsobanyi said during a press conference yesterday.

Unlike the previous elections, all activities in the forthcoming elections, including campaigns, debates, voting, and tallying, are going to be conducted virtually as it was gazetted in the new Makerere Student’s Guild Statute 2022, which was drafted by the university council on September 16.

“We shall not allow any candidate to stand under any political party. All their posters should not have any symbol of any political party. If found, that candidate will automatically be disqualified,” Mr Nsobanyi added.
Mr Nsobanyi said political parties were among the root causes of the suspension of previous elections.

Yesterday, Makerere University electoral commission concluded the exercise to call for nomination of the 88th guild leadership, in which one presidential candidate was so far recorded by press time.

“We so far have only one guild presidential candidate, who has submitted the nomination forms, and 28 nomination forms for students who are aspiring for guild representative council yet the deadline is today (yesterday) at 11:59pm,” Mr Nsobanyi said.

Mr Nsobanyi added: “We shall not extend the deadline because I think students were given enough time to apply.”

Nomination for guild president, representatives, senior common room, college council, debating union and games union candidates kicked off on Monday and ended yesterday.

According to the roadmap, on November 28, the academic registrar will verify academic standing of all nominated candidates and the list of successful candidates will be published the following day.

Unlike the previous elections, Mr Nsobanyi also revealed that all aspiring candidates are not required to pay fees for nominations.

After elections on Wednesday, the elected candidates will be sworn in on December 5.

The elections were suspended in July after the death of Micheal Betungura Bewatte, who was a law student at Uganda Christian University, Kampala campus.

Betungura was stabbed to death during a violent campaign on July 14 and his death led to the immediate suspension of guild elections at the institution.