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MAK Students Petition Speaker Over Suspension of Guild Leadership

“Contrary to section 69 (1) (a) which limits the University council from reviewing or amending the students’ Guild constitution, the chairperson University council, Lorna Magara (Mrs.) acted outside the provisions of the laws governing the creation and governance of the students’ guild by constitution members of the University Council to review the student’ Guild constitution without students’ representatives. Mrs. Lorna Magara actions were rushed, irrational, and illegal,” part of the petition reads
Lawel Muhwezi in the middle while addressing a presser ealier this month. Photo by Fahad Muganga
Makerere University student leaders have petitioned the speaker of parliament, Anita Among over the suspended guild elections and guild activities.

Makerere University council resolved to terminate the 88th guild leadership polls and suspend all activities of the senior common room, caretaker government, and guild leadership structure.   

This followed the chaotic campaigns that resulted in the death of Bewotti Batungura, a student from Uganda Christian University. Consequently, the Council set up a six-member committee to review all operations of the student leadership before a final decision is made.  

While the committee is yet to release its final report, student leaders led by Lawel Muhwezi, the aspiring GRC for Mitchel hall have petitioned the speaker to intervene in the matter. In their petition on August 09th, 2022, the student leaders, say that the University council chairperson acted outside the provisions of the laws governing the creation and governance when she suspended the guild polls.

“Contrary to section 69 (1) (a) which limits the University council from reviewing or amending the students’ Guild constitution, the chairperson University council, Lorna Magara (Mrs.) acted outside the provisions of the laws governing the creation and governance of the students’ guild by constitution members of the University Council to review the student’ Guild constitution without students’ representatives. Mrs. Lorna Magara actions were rushed, irrational, and illegal,” part of the petition reads

Adding that "Students have engaged the University council management in vain. Despite intimidation and suspension, students have sought dialogue even when all channels of communication between the University Council and Management have been blocked by suspension of all student representatives from the different University leadership structures in disregard of the law."

They want parliament to intervene and order the university council to reinstate the Guild leadership. “That the parliament orders the University council to reinstate the Guild and all students’ leadership structures with immediate effect to enable student representation on different University boards as required by the University statutes to safeguard students’ academic interests,” reads the petition.

On Tuesday, students led by the outgoing Guild President, Mrs. Shamim Nambassa had planned to hold elections despite the Council suspension. However, the Vice-Chancellor prof. Barnabas Nawangwe wrote to the Makerere University Electoral Commission chairperson blocking the planned guild elections.  

“The University management would like to re-affirm its position that there will be no elections this semester and hereby call on the students at Makerere University to prepare for the forthcoming examinations. Any move to hold or mobilize students to turn up in any act of illegality will face disciplinary action” Nawangwe said