BY DOUGLAS OLUM
On Friday November 2,Uganda Christian University held its guild general elections for the academic year 2018/19. Students across the university’s five campuses voted for their new leaders to take the positions of Guild Presidents and Members of Parliament.
Bruce Mugisha Amanya emerged the winner for the position of guild president at the university’s main campus in Mukono after scoring at least 1,000 votes, trouncing his closest rival, Phillip Joshua Wanambwa, who scored 876 votes and Charlotte Mbabazi who scored 157.
Amanya said his victory was a result of earlier preparation, including mentorship by the university’s Vice Chancellor in charge of Development and External Relations, Mr David Mugawe.
He said during his tenure as UCU’s Guild President, he would advocate for market-ing of the university’s science courses, more support towards innovation and support for financially disadvantaged students to ensure that they don’t drop out of the university.
Amanya vowed to cut guild trips, especially abroad in order to save money and increase the amounts given to financially challenged students under the students guild fund programme.
On the polls day, there were some scuffles witnessed at a polling station at the Agape square where law and nursing students casted their votes from.
The scuffle arose when the electoral commission barred some students from voting on grounds that they were not fully registered for this semester. The student said, the act was however, contrary to an earlier published information by the commission which indicated that students who are both on and off semester could vote, especially for the position of Guild President.
The situation was, however, contained after a new voters’ list was brought and all students were permitted to exercise their voting rights.
The Electoral Commission’s publicist, Morris Twinamatsiko, said the problem was caused by a wrong list issued to the commission by the academics office which had only students who had fully cleared their tuition.
Amanya was declared winner at 11:45pm by the Commission’s chairperson, Deborah Akiteng. Celebrations erupted among his supporters who in his company immediately went for an after party at Cassablanca, a bar located along Bishop Tucker Road.
The new guild leadership will be sworn in on November 30.
Mbabazi conceded defeat while, Wanambwa said there was open voter bribery, tactical delay by the commission, especially at the law polling station where voting started only minutes before mid-day and even vote-stuffing, that were maliciously neglected by the commission. He, however, said he would not petition the commission but focus on his studies now.
Wanambwa rejects offer
Asked whether he would accept a cabinet offer under the up-coming guild government, Wanambwa said he would not.
“I was seeking to form a driving wheel where I would be the driving wheel rolling the chains but not the chain. To accept to serve under another leader means I will have to abandon my direction of thought which is totally different from his and adopt a new one which I don’t believe in,” Wanambwa said.
He was speaking with The Standard in an interview on Wednesday November 7, at the main campus in Mukono.
“If you are meant to be great, you will always be. If it is about serving the students, I have been serving as Class Rep (representative) until the eve of the elections. I have been and still I am an R.A (Residential Assistant),” he added.
Wanambwa said he is still an active member of several fellowship groups and asso-ciations where he can still invest his leadership skills and continue to serve the students without contradicting his belief.
His rejection follows an earlier suggestion by the Guild President-elect, Bruce Mugi-sha Amanya, who told The Standard in an interview on Saturday, November 3 that he was considering absorbing his rivals into his government since they all had expressed interest in serving the students.
“To my colleagues I hope they will accept the appointments in good faith if they come because they had all expressed interest in serving the students and I believe we should work together,” Amanya said.
However, Charlotte Mbabazi, said she would take the offer if given because she is, “a leader whose only focus is to serve.”