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Suspended MAK NUP Students Attempt to Get Nominated In Vain

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Following their suspension, the aspirants decided to engage Nawangwe to lift the suspension and allow them to participate in the guild polls in vain. The students had initially thought of securing a court injunction to lift their suspension but they were advised to negotiate with the vice-chancellor.
30 Jun 2022 09:11
Suspended MAK NUP students Mwesigwa Calvin Mugambwa,Bbosa Edwin and Katushabe Kenneth

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Attempts by four suspended Makerere University students belonging to the National Unity Platform-NUP political party to get nominated for the guild race on Wednesday hit a dead end. They are Calvin Mwesigwa Mugambwa, Edwin Bbosa Price, and Kenneth Katushabe. 

Makerere University Vice-Chancellor Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe suspended the quartet that was eying the Makerere University guild presidential race, for allegedly holding a demonstration at Freedom square on Friday last week.

Following their suspension, the aspirants decided to engage Nawangwe to lift the suspension and allow them to participate in the guild polls in vain. The students had initially thought of securing a court injunction to lift their suspension but they were advised to negotiate with the vice-chancellor.

However, sources within the NUP Makerere Chapter revealed that there was a bitter reception from the Vice-Chancellor who ordered the students out of his office. After about 4 pm after the failed negotiations,  the students decided to try submitting their nomination forms to the Guild Electoral Commission. 

This brought commotion as the Makerere University Electoral Commission Chairperson, Deo Kayigamba ordered the commissioners not to receive the nomination forms. He later convened a meeting behind closed doors, in which he consulted the top university management over the phone.

Shortly after the Dean of Students, Winifred Kabumbuli issued a statement declaring the quartet ineligible for nomination citing their suspension. According to the guidelines by the Electoral Commission, the picking and submission of nomination forms started on  Monday 27th, and closed Wednesday at 5:30 pm. 

This means that NUP aspirants do not have any chance for nominations for the 88th Guild Elections. Kenneth Katushabe, one of the suspended students, says that there has been a deliberate move by the Vice-Chancellor to suppress NUP in the university. 

He says the university used the Electoral Commission as a pawn to play politics by deliberately delaying releasing the election road map until their suspension. He says it is time the Vice-Chancellor restudies the law and treats students properly, saying that he wouldn't have become a Professor if he faced the oppression he is meting out to the students now.

//Cue in: “obubaka bwensindikira…

Cue out…Ku bond,”//

Bbosa Price, who was suspended explains the events of the fateful Friday 24th of July 2022 leading to their suspension. He says that when they organized a NUP Makerere Chapter General Assembly at the Freedom Square, the National Resistance Movement, and the Democratic Party Uganda Young Democrats had held their General Assemblies at the same venue with Police protection and without any disturbances. 

He, however, says that they were whisked off on Friday without engaging in a violent act on Friday. They were detained by Police and later released on Police Bond. Mwesigwa Calvin Mugambwa, says the entire move to suspend him and his colleagues is part of a scheme by the university administration to have a specific candidate who is a bedfellow of the administration. He says despite the suspension he is ready to fight to see that the students retain the power to vote for candidates of their choice. 

//Cue in: “now they are…    

Cue out…Guild President,”//

A source within the NUP Mak chapter who sought anonymity says the whole saga is a result of disorganization within the party for failure to have a formal method of selecting candidates. This now leaves the party with no definitive candidate to hold its flag. However, there are candidates who submitted nominations with a leaning toward the party from whom leadership is likely to choose a flag bearer.  

Prof. Nawangwe’s administration has been in the spotlight both within and outside the university for suppressing students and suspending them at will. The administration derives the power to arbitrarily suspend students from Rule 6.1(d) of the gazette 2015 Makerere University Students Regulations, which gives the Vice-Chancellor powers to suspend a student as he thinks fit and thereafter seek approval of his action at the next meeting of the University Disciplinary Committee. 

On several occasions, Court has issued orders restraining Prof. Nawangwe from continuing to enforce the decision to open-endedly suspend students from the university. In fact, many suspensions of students by the VC have been revoked by the court, and the university ordered to reinstate the students without any charge.

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