Makerere University Council Chairperson Lorna Magara has suspended the Makerere University Students’ Guild and the guild elections that were expected to happen today, July 15.
In a letter her letter dated July 14 as written to Vice Chancellor Prof Barnabas Nawangwe, Magara made it clear that the violence that had characterized the guild campaigns, including the killing of a student, had made the Council decide to suspending elections and to fire the guild leadership.
Magara noted that Section 40(2) (a) of the Universities and Other Tertiary Institutions Act, 2001, as amended, gives the University Council the responsibility for the direction of the administrative, financial, and academic affairs of the University; and that Section 40(2)(d) obligates the Council to do any other thing and take all necessary decisions conducive to the fulfillment of the objects and functions of the University.
She also explained that Section 41(f) of the Act empowers the Council to provide for the welfare and discipline of the students and that Section 42 of the Makerere University Council Charter, 2009 gives the Council Chairperson powers to take decisions on behalf of the Council in extraordinary circumstances. Magara went on to note that while management and other university organs have taken several engagements to ensure peaceful guild elections, the chaos has persisted.
“Makerere University Council is appalled by the violent events that have characterized the electoral campaigns for the 88th Students Guild leadership, which resulted in the loss of the life of one of the young people participating in the campaign activities. The University Management and Council have repeatedly raised concerns about the persistent cases of indiscipline and violent altercations among members of the Students Guild and the Students Senior Common Room, which often resulted in damage to University property and injury to University Students and staff,” explained Magara.
“Management and the Council have repeatedly engaged the Student leaders at the Guild and SCR levels to address the violent behaviour, but the engagements have not yielded any improvements.” It was on the basis of this chaos and violent behavior that she issued orders suspending the elections and guild leadership until further notice. “It is now directed as follows: The ongoing elections for the 88th Makerere University Students Guild leadership are suspended indefinitely; The Makerere University Students Guild is suspended with immediate effect. This suspension includes the Guild Care Taker Government and the Students Common Room; Management shall investigate all cases of violence in the electoral campaigns for the 88″ Students Guild leadership and report to the Council for appropriate action,” directed Magara.
She also revealed that the Council will convene in an emergency meeting today July 15, 2022 “to consider further actions to address student indiscipline and violence at the University.” The suspension of the elections and the firing of the student guild leaders came hours after a supporter of the FDC candidate was killed on Thursday. (Read Story Here).