By Laura Cenge
Uganda Christian University (UCU) Guild Electoral Commission through the office of Directorate of Students Affair (DOSA) have held a meting of presidential candidates with the vice-chancellow Assoc. Prof. Aaron Mushengyezi.
The meeting involved four candidates from UCU main and Kampala campus Zeddekia Ssekyonda, from the School of Medicine, Nachiranda Ruth Martha from the School of Law are aspirants, and Timothy Ddumba from the Faculty of Engineering, Design, and Technology and the Jorem Edunu, School of Law from the Kampala and Mukono campuses, respectively.
They were told to follow the guidelines that are issued by the electoral commission under the DOSA to avoid being victims of anything contrary to what was told to them.
“Dear candidates, you need to know that the process you are going through is overseen by the Electoral Commission, so please follow their guidelines under the supervision of the DOSA,” said Mushengyezi.
They were also advised to appeal for a proper process of selection in the event that they were dissatisfied, using the legal process. For this reason, there is no need for them to start fights and vandalize property to prove their disagreement.
Furthermore, the VC reminded the candidate that the university is Christian-based, and for this reason, they are not allowed to campaign under different political parties as is the case with the national elections in the country. As a citizen of Uganda, one has the right to subscribe to whichever political party they choose, but it is not the same case when running for a position in the guild government at the university.
He said, “This being a Christian university and founded by the church, we urge our candidates not to campaign based on political parties.”
It is for this reason that candidates should not be seen running campaigns under certain colors that are related to political parties in the country, and they should also urge their supporters to avoid using and associating their candidate with any of those colors.
The guild presidential candidates were also reminded to balance books and fulfill their administrative duties when elected into office by the students. Any candidate who may not be able to meet the required academic standards will be discontinued.
This is because sometimes student leaders forget their main objective of coming to school and focus so much on the administrative duties that they miss out on their academic life.
“As you do your guild administrative work, remember to balance your academics; otherwise, we shall discontinue you,” said the Vice Chancellor.
The vice chancellor emphasized the following guidelines for the aspiring candidates throughout the campaign trials.
Since the university is heading toward a paperless era, voting will take place online. Therefore, no posters are allowed within the structures, on the walls, or in the garbage. Any applicant whose signs are discovered in any of these locations will be required to clean up. There will only be hanging banners accepted.
Voting rights will be extended to all enrolled students in the university system in 2022. Because the university does not know someone who has not yet registered with the system, they will not be able to access the online voting.
No political bands will be permitted on campus because they frequently interrupt ongoing classes and meetings.
The time limit for holding campaigns within the university is 10:00 p.m. or later.
Under the supervision of the DOSA’s office, the EC is planning to organize virtual campaigns and the presidential debate with the UIS team.
This time, the presidential candidates will have more time to ask and answer questions without being limited to the one hour allotted to them while airing on television. Links to these events will be shared across all platforms. Students are strongly encouraged to take part.