Dr.Tanga washes his hands clean, blames candidates over chaos during Makerere convocation elections


The outgoing Makerere University Convocation chairman, Dr. Tanga Odoi has blamed some of the contestants for masterminding chaos during last week’s elections .

The elections held on December, 30 were marred with untold chaos that started when election materials arrived late, situation contestants blamed on the returning officer as well as irregularities in the register where many contestants and voters’ names were missing.

Many claimed there was foul play and Dr.Tanga Odoi was accused of being behind the chaos and foul play.

Addressing journalists on Tuesday, Dr.Tanga said he is not to blame for the chaos but rather three candidates including journalist Charles Odongtho, former MP Gerald Karuhanga and Robert Rutaro for planning to disorganise the elections.

“Members of the general assembly have a right to decide what they do and on that day when we put up an agenda, they amended it to deal with a few items including elections because of the limited time. However, a group led by Odongtho and others including Gerald Karuhanga and Robert Rutaro said elections must not take place. That same group had gone to court but their application was dismissed. Once their application was dismissed, they now came to the assembly to make sure they block the elections,” Dr.Tanga said.

According to the outgoing chairman of the Makerere University Convocation, coming with a predetermined mind meant that the group of three had to do all it takes to disorganise the election.

Defends security

Several members of the convocation last week took to social media to blast security including police and military police over the manner they handled the election.

Several members were arrested during the process.

Dr.Tanga Odoi on Tuesday accused the three candidates of hiring goons but also former Makerere University students to disorganize the election.

“They caused a stampede, disrupted the flow of events and because there was life at stake security came in. If security had decided to watch as the chaos unfolded, may be people would have died. May be 20 or 30. Security came in, got the ring leaders, took them out and the process continued.”

Equating the situation at Makerere to what happened in parliament in 2018 during the age limit debate; Dr.Tanga said had security not intervened, matters could have turned worse.

“I don’t see anything big with what security did here. It didn’t even kill a person but simply said since others have said they want to vote but you will not participate and don’t allow others their right, move out. If police beat anybody, it is unfortunate but what we watched was people being dragged out.”

“That happens in any society. Even in clan meeting, if some members say don’t want meeting and majority say they want, the clan leader will continue with the meeting and they can’t allow you use chaos to have your way.”

Hiring goons

Dr.Tanga Odoi said some candidates hired goons and former university students to cause chaos but to also chant songs and slogans of opposition political parties which was uncalled for.

“You can’t use chaos to force your way when the constitution says use the general assembly. It was unfortunate for members who had gone to court to again come and lead a protest and sing some of the songs of some opposition political parties and turning our convocation into a political dilemma.”

“How do you behave like that when you are a graduate? Odongtho and company should know they are not above the law. Nobody will intimidate us because we follow the constitution of the convocation.”

He said he is waiting for anyone to come up to drag him to court over the events during the election of the convocation.

Odongtho responds

When contacted for a comment, Charles Odongtho who was one of the candidates rubbished Dr.Tanga Odoi’s claims.

“How could Charles alone, a candidate too, force about 30 candidates, seven of them for chairmanship, to get out of the race?  Does that sound logical and reasonable,” Odongtho questioned.

Odongtho accused Dr. Tanga Odoi of peddling unsubstantiated lies.

“Tanga is running away from accountability for his actions, including his impunity and abuse of office, where he a civilian commanded and forced the military and armed police to break into an AGM of Makerere Convocation and beat up members of the convocation, and injured several of them. Former students of Makerere who accessed the AGM are members Tanga himself allowed in. He can't turn around and say we hired them.”

“The council chairperson has demanded that Tanga accounts for the mess he created at that AGM. The best thing for him to do is to do just that.”



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