By Ivan Tsebeni
Racheal Mirembe Sserwadda’s victory to become Uganda Christian University’s (UCU) 24th Guild President was not a surprise to those who know her. The third-year student of Bachelor of Laws has been a school leader since her early primary days.
Sserwadda’s victory in the elections held on November 24, 2021, enter her into the annals of UCU as the institution’s third female Guild President in its 24 years of existence. Blessed Murungi was the first female Guild President in 2014. Two years later, in 2016, the institution got another female Guild President in Prisca Amongin.
“I have lost superlatives to describe how happy I feel,” Sserwadda said while addressing students during her victory speech. “This is your win; this is our victory; let’s keep resilient in the new normal.”
Sserwadda attributed her victory to God.
“From day one, God took the lead in everything I did,” she said “During the campaigns, I got to learn about many challenges that our people face. We shall work together to find solutions.”
Most challenges referenced by the new guild president relate to blended learning obstacles. She assumes office at a time when higher institutions of learning are just opening up for in-person education after almost two years of no physical learning because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Sserwadda was declared winner of the contest by the Director of Students’ Affairs, Bridget Mugume Mugasira, after beating off a stiff challenge from Bravo Phillip Ayebare. Sserwadda polled 55.45% of the votes cast. She takes over the reins from outgoing Guild President Kenneth Agaba Amponda.
UCU Vice Chancellor Assoc. Prof. Aaron Mushengyezi said the institution had “demonstrated to the world that it is possible to have a peaceful, free and fair election.”
Sserwadda hopes to hinge her leadership on three pillars: Social welfare of students,
accountability and security. She says her greatest reason for contesting for leadership positions is to positively impact the community in which she lives as she ushers it into the Silver Jubilee of existence of the university in 2022.
“I intend to introduce the use of suggestion boxes, particularly in areas around the university’s dining hall, sports complex and lecture rooms,” Sserwadda told The Standard online, a publication of the university.
“I am also a sports enthusiast,” she noted, adding: “I will work hand in hand with the sports department at the university to facilitate sports activities. I believe that students should be encouraged to participate in aerobics.”
Born 22 years ago, Sserwadda says she has achieved whatever has come her way because of supportive parents. The first born of three children is a daughter of Sserwadda George William, a businessman in Kampala, and Naomi Nakaziba, a pediatrician.
For her primary education, Sserwadda changed schools three times, eventually completing at St. Lawrence Primary School, Kabowa, near Kampala.
From St. Lawrence, Sserwadda headed to King’s College, Budo, an elite school in Uganda, where she studied for the entire six years of secondary education, before joining UCU.
While in Primary Three at Hormisdallen Primary School in Kampala, Sserwadda was elected the Class Prefect. In Primary Six, Sserwadda was elected the school’s Sanitation Prefect. At King’s College, Budo, she was a student leader in the school’s water and sanitation club and, later, a house prefect of one of the dormitories at Budo.
At UCU, she is the leader of the Mustard Seed Choir. Sserwadda believes that the leadership positions have helped her to attain communication and listening skills – competences that are critical for any leader to succeed.
“I have learnt that as a students’ leader, it’s good to be flexible. You must also strive to bridge the gap between the students and the school administration,” Sserwadda said, noting that such a move will help the school administrators and the students to co-exist harmoniously.