Mao lambasts university students over lifestyle
BY DOUGLAS OLUM
The Democratic Party (DP) President General, Norbert Mao, has slammed Uganda Christian University students over anti-social lifestyles.
“These days people don’t even know their neighbours. I am sure those of you who live in hostels, don’t know who lives in the next room. I’m just telling you that you can’t have a citizenship where people are disconnected. Active citizenship is about strong family bonds and then voluntary associations,” Mao said.
Mao made the remarks while speaking at the 2018 UCU Law Society Symposium, held in Nkoyoyo Hall at the university’s main campus in Mukono on Thursday November 1.
Quoting from Alexis Detocqueville’s book, ‘Democracy in America,’ Mao said: “The current generations would not be able to voluntarily resolve problems in society if they keep relying on government that mostly seek to, “stupify people reducing them to nothing better than flock of timid and industrious sheep.
“I’m told the voter turnout here in the guild elections is very low. I don’t know whether the guild holds general assemblies where you can ask questions to the president! These are rhetorical questions. I’m just telling you that active citizenship is about being part of a community, whether it is a community of a boda-boda association. Why am I saying that? Because citizens must know their interests. And those interests must bring you together,” he said. “Without voluntary associations which connect people to their roots, life is meaningless.”
Mao urged the youths to exercise their voting rights at all levels and also express their opinions in writings, saying literature had such immense power to transform society and settle daily challenges like water shortages, electricity blackouts and poor road conditions.
The event took place under the theme: “The choice of taxing OTT and Mobile Money services as a tool of widening Uganda’s tax base.” It was addressed by several high-profile speakers including Uganda Law Society president, Simon Peter Kinobe, the human rights lawyer Nicholas Opiyo, NBS television journalist Raymond Mujuni, among others.
Mujuni criticised the government’s move to tax the citizens and not the multinational companies that repatriate billions of shillings to their countries every year. While Opiyo said the move was unconstitutional and in contravention of people’s human rights to freedom of speech, expression and association.
Amanya is new guild president
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.”
Basoga Nseete triumphs
BY DOUGLAS OLUM & ESTHER TUSIIME BYONA
Basoga Nseete Students Association are the winners of the 2018 Uganda Christian University (UCU) Students’ Cultural Gala.
The association was pronounced winner at the event held on Saturday, October 20 at Nkoyoyo Hall, after garnering 414 marks out of 500. They beat their closest rivals and defending champions, the Acholi students community, with a meagre two marks.
Celebrations among members of the winning team erupted around Nkoyoyo Hall as soon as the announcement was made.
Brian Wabwire, the Basoga Nseete association’s chairperson, said the victory was a resurrection of their group, having had some crises and missed the gala for the last two years.
“We feel blessed by the victory. We had been down for the last two years and the spirit of identifying ourselves as Basoga had really disappeared. But with this win, we are proud again to identify ourselves as Basoga,” Wabwire said.
He attributed their victory to tireless efforts put by the participants, team spirit and the broad nature of the Basoga culture that cannot be exhausted within a short time.
Wabwire encouraged students from the other tribal associations to focus, plan ahead, work hard and unite so that they may also taste the joy of such victory in future.
Before their disqualification in 2016, Basoga Nseete was a two-time winner of the gala in 2014 and 2015.
At least 13 cultural groups participated in this year’s gala, including the international students who were the last in the queue. Third in performance were the Bakonjo, followed by the Langi and the Baganda settled for the fifth position.
The Cultural Gala, themed, “The Road to Cultural Marriage” was opened by the Busoga Kingdom Attorney General, Robert Kafuko.
Kafuko advised parents to play their roles fully in raising children.
“Partners should sit down and agree on how do to do this,” Kafuko said.
The first performance on the stage was a poem performed in Atesot. After the poem, the Basamia went on stage for their folk song. Among the other performers, came the Acholi with a cultural mime. The Bakonjo did a traditional song and the Bamasaba did a poem though there was a bit of confusion between the participants.
The Baganda performed a folk song that caused excitement in the audience because one of the characters dressed like “Bosco” of the popular MTN advert. The Karimojong also presented a traditional dance that caused excitement from the crowd because of their dance moves.
The International students led by the Congolese showcased their cultural dress while the Nigerians did a poem. This is the first time the international students performed in the Cultural Gala.
Among the awards given was the Outstanding Performer. This was taken by Charity Auma from Lango. She was crowned ‘Miss Culture.’ ‘Mr Culture’ was Ivan Masaba from Busoga. The best actor was Erodad Nemo from Busoga and the best actress was Peace Buraka from Kasese. The best male dancer was Asuman Kizito from Buganda. The other participants who won some prizes were Rachael Akello, Derrick Abaro Orana, Williamson Barongo, and Steven Muhangi.
While delivering their verdict, the five adjudicators commended the student community for keeping the gala traditional even amidst heavy forces of evolution. Alison Nadungu, one of the adjudicators, said, “Africans are the only people who were not allowed to evolve naturally due to colonial interruption.”
Nadungu said now that Africans have the chance to get back to their roots, they should do more research about their cultures and do everything within their power to sustain and promote the cultures.
The Director of Students’ Affairs, Olive Birabi Ayo, also told the students that there is something special about every culture that must be observed and appreciated.
Ayo encouraged students who missed participating in this years’ event to consider doing so in the future as a way of identifying with their culture and showing pride.
The guild Minister for Cultural Affairs, Solomon Egwar, described the event as a “success” and “one of the best in the history of UCU” because of the theme of cultural marriage which he said many students identified with.
Egwar said, unlike in the past years when the post-event period would be marred by complaints, this year’s event has registered only one complaint from the Nkobazambogo, the Buganda students’ association, which alleged that they deserved a better position than they got. Nkobazambogo were put in the fifth position after the Bakonjo (third position) and Langi (fourth position).
He said this was because of the independent nature of the external adjudicators whose jurisdictions were also limited to only one activity per person.
Egwar thanked the university authorities for all the support for the gala and urged them to consider, in future, releasing the themes for the event early enough in order to give students enough time to prepare.