“These electoral regulations are trying to dictate what should appear in the students constitution. And if you look at the entire regulations booklet, there are a number of provisions that are out rightly against the freedom of expression,” Mark Owiny, a 4th year Law student said
University will have to wait a little longer for the guild polls. This follows
a decision by the University Council to refer the disputed amendments to the
Guild Electoral Regulations to its Rules and Privileges Committee for review
and report back within a week’s time.
was part of the resolutions made by the council at its special meeting held on
February 19, 2020 under the guidance of its chair, Lorna Magara. Management
informed council during the meeting that they had extended the guild polls on
request from the students.
then Acting Vice Chancellor, Professor Umar Kakumba okayed the extension of the
polls pending consideration of the proposed amendments to the Regulations as
requested by students during their Emergency Council Meeting held on Oct 29th,
noted that; “Council had received written submissions from the Students' Guild
on the proposed amendments, which need to be considered urgently,” read a
communication from the council.
Speaking to Uganda Radio Network (URN) following
the Council meeting, Winston Churchill Ruhayana, a third-year Law student and member
of the Guild Tribunal, says the council decision further delays the elections
and increases an unnecessary anxiety among the students’ body.
students are already biased that the regulations are likely to be passed even
when they rejected the amendments.
//Cue in: “I think it could reduce…
Cue out: …those electoral reforms.”//
But Mark Owiny, former Makerere University Guild
Justice and Constitutional Affairs Minister and fourth year-law student, says
the proposed regulations contravene the Universities and Other Tertiary
Institutions Act (UOTIA), which mandate students’ organisations and
associations to form their constitutions.
electoral regulations are trying to dictate what should appear in the student’s
constitution. If you look at the entire regulation booklet, there are a number
of provisions that are out rightly against the freedom of expression,” Owiny
Adding that; “you can’t have student’s guild
electoral regulations, without consulting students. But when students want
something that actually benefits them for instance, the guild had proposed the
supplementary examinations policy, there they asked the students to go and
first consult the Senate, but when something affects the students and is to
their [management] advantage, you don’t want to consult students.”
The University Council approved Makerere
University Guild election regulations during its December 6th, 2018
sitting. The regulations were gazetted as ““Makerere University Student’s
Guild Constitution Elections Regulations No.1 of 2018” on January 11, 2019.
Key among the provisions is the ban on guild
rallies in halls of residence and restriction of guild campaigns to four
rallies. They also bar students from acts of hooliganism and use of obscene
language during the campaigns and require all aspiring guild presidential
candidates to pay non-refundable fee of Shillings 200,000, and Shs.100, 000 for
Guild Representative Council-GRC aspirants while those vying for offices under
Students Common Room (SCR) for halls of residence will pay Shillings 50,000
down from Shillings 60,000.
Students rejected the regulations out rightly,
saying they were not conclusively consulted, yet they were the key stakeholders
for which, the regulations were being made. As a result, management
deferred their implementation, and referred the matter to Council for
didn’t review the regulations as expected, which has led to the current
stalemate. Faith Kukundakwe, a second year student of Bachelors of law at
Makerere University, says prolonging the elections puts students’ leadership on
a test, saying they are likely to end up with poor leaders as some may withdraw
from the race.
//Cue in: “Students representation is with the