Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The National Unity platform- NUP candidate Robert Maseruka has been elected the new Guild President of Makerere University.
According to results announced by Levi Tshilumba, the Electoral Commission Chairperson, Maseruka, a third-year student doing Journalism and Communication garnered 2,558 votes to beat his closest rival and fellow classmate Hilary Oremo Odwee who got 2,531 votes.
Forum for Democratic Change FDC’s Akankunda Sabiiti came third with 2,334 votes.
Other candidates; National Resistance Movement- NRM’s Baraka Nkoyooyo 841, Evans Murungi 189, Andrew Lubinga 186, Emmanuel Wanyama 180, Mark Ssebunya 53, and Julius Bigirwa Maxwell came last with 11.
Maseruka who until earlier this week was an independent candidate saw his popularity increase when Margaret Nattabi, the NUP flag bearer, was disqualified from the race for holding a public debate.
NUP later endorsed Maseruka who had earlier lost to Nattabi during party primaries. Nattabi herself urged her supporters to back Maseruka’s candidature which boosted his popularity.
Unlike the previous elections where candidates had the liberty to identify themselves with the national political parties of their preference, many candidates in this election were hesitant to associate themselves with their preferred parties due to the apprehension of being disqualified.
This came into effect after the University adopted the new Guild statute which explicitly prohibits the interference of political parties in student politics.
Article 6. 2 of the statute stipulates that; “The Makerere University Students Guild shall be non-partisan, non-denominational, and non-violent and shall be open to all students of Makerere University without discrimination”
The students also voted for their School Guild representatives, Halls Guild representatives, College Guild council members, and Chairpersons of college councils, among other positions.
The elections were on Friday marred by technical glitches. When some students commenced virtual voting, certain individuals were caught off guard by messages, indicating that they had already cast their votes, yet they were accessing their portals for the first time while others received error messages, hindering their access to the portal.
Some first-year students and finalists also faced difficulties while logging in to the portal, whereas numerous students were unable to access the platform from outside the university.