Makerere students vow to hold deferred elections today

Makerere University guild presidential candidate for National Unity Platform (NUP) Lawrence Alionzi being carried by one of his supporters during campaigns last month. PHOTO | COURTESY

Makerere University students’ leaders are gearing up to hold elections today, despite the Council banning politics in the university after the death of a student during last month’s campaigns.

Bewatti Betungura, a student of Uganda Christian University, was stabbed during campaigns and died at the university hospital.

Ms Shamim Nambassa, the outgoing guild president, yesterday said the decision comes after the university’s failure to fulfill its commitment on conducting polls.

“It’s been a week since we started writing letters to them addressing different issues. There was a meeting with the select committee and they promised to get back to us on Thursday last week, which they never did,” Ms Nambassa told this reporter when contacted.

She added: “So it appears as if everyone is doing their own things. As a students’ body, we are going ahead to organise ourselves and we set our elections for Tuesday (today) regardless of what the university may want to come up with.” 

Last Friday, all guild aspirants, the electoral commission and outgoing guild president, held a private meeting to discuss a way forward.

According to Mr Kelvin Luyombya, the secretary to Students’ Committee, and Mr Lawrence Alionz, one of the aspirants for guild president, claimed that in the meeting, the electoral commission confirmed to them about their readiness to hold the elections whenever the university was ready.

On July 15, the University Council suspended all guild elections and disbanded the guild indefinitely following bloody campaigns after the chaos.

University says

Mr Yusuf Kiranda, the Makerere University Secretary, however, yesterday, told Monitor that they are not aware of the students’ planned election. 

He said the committee is working hard to deliver its report on investigations regarding last month’s bloody campaigns.