BY ELIJAH TWINOMUHWEZI
Jacob Ampeire, a secondyear mass communication student, has won the Bishop Barham University College presidential guild election.
On November 12, Ampaire defeated David Kule Nzerebende, a second-year student of Bachelor of Business Administration, and Christopher Atukwase of Bachelor of Procurement and Logistics Management, in an election in which 818 votes were cast. Ampaire won with 371 votes; Nzerebende got 206 and Atukwasa got 191. A total of 50 ballots were declared invalid.
According to Dan Oweyesiga, the BBUC Electoral Commission chairperson, the election was free and fair and all candidates and their supporters should accept the result.
“According to the UCU guild constitution, anyone who obtains the highest number of votes should be declared guild president. I, therefore, ask all of you to accept the results of this election,” Oweyesiga said.
After he was declared winner, Ampeire promised to work hard to improve the status of students at the campus. In a letter dated November 13 to the students, Ampeire thanked the BBUC community for electing him, and congratulated the community for successfully going through the period.
“I urge my former opponents to join me in uniting the university,” he said. Ampeire is the second guild president from the mass communication department, since the college’s inception in 2000.
The first was Isaac Nuwagaba, who was guild president in year 2009/2010.
The election result is however being challenged by David Kule and his supporters who say the election was not free and fair, claiming it was marred by a lot of irregularities.
Kule said that the Electoral Commission had allowed voters who were not students cast ballots.
“I do not accept the results and I blame the Electoral Commission for letting non-university students to participate in the process. I am going to file a petition in the shortest time possible to challenge the election,” he said.
On November 14, Kule confirmed that he had filed the petition to the different authorities of the university and was awaiting their response.
As granted by the Uganda Christian University guild constitution, Article 93(1) and (2), “For anyone seeking to overturn the election of the president must do it in writing, file it within three days after the election and by an aggrieved party upon gathering at least 10 percent signatures of the electorate.”
In response to Kule’s action, Ampeire said he was not scared and he was working to unite the BBUC community and said Kule should join him in this cause.
The petition further claims that Ampeire brought in supporters from neighbouring institutions of Uganda College of Commerce and the African College of Commerce.
Because of this, Kule’s agents refused to sign the copy of the declaration results. If the petition is considered, the relevant tribunal shall notify the members of the electorate that the petition has been lodged.
Thereafter, the petition shall be heard and a decision made within four days.