Makerere University management has postponed the students’ guild elections that were scheduled for Friday, March 2, 2018, over anticipated electoral violence.
The decision followed a series of meetings between security officials, student leaders, guild candidates and the university management. They observed that the students’ Electoral Commission was not ready to conduct the election since it had not appointed polling officials a few hours to polling day.
The University also suspended all campaign rallies in order to avert violence. This was in agreement to suggestions made during an emergency meeting held this afternoon by the Dean of Students Cyriaco Kabagambe, the Vice Chancellor Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe and Assistant Commissioner of Police -ACP Enock Abeine, the Chief Security officer.
Abeine said the final rallies; initially scheduled for today were likely to trigger violence.
The decision comes on the backdrop of reports of hooliganism and violence that marred the guild election campaigns over the last two weeks. As of Wednesday, February 28, at least two guild candidates Fred Andama and Arnold Ssemanda were receiving medication after being beaten by violent students from rival camps.
Patrick Buyondo, the Forum for Democratic Party – FDC Makerere Chapter President confirmed reports of injured guild candidates.
A total of 16 candidates had been nominated to participate in this year’s guild presidential elections. They include Henry Turyasingura, Joe Kasumba, Andrew Julian Taliwaku, Edward Kinene Ssemakula, Florence Namuganza, Salim Were, Arnold Ssemanda, Patrick Kamyuka and Fredrick Chiluba. Others are Fred Andama, Prize Ahimbisibwe, Dan Ronnie Isabirye, Johnson Obbo, and Samuel Nuwataho.
But two candidates; Bruno Bayube and Silver Kent Lwamaza, were eliminated from the race for lack of academic credentials. To qualify for guild presidential candidate in Makerere, a student is required to present normal academic progress, implying that they should not have retakes.