By Ivan Tsebeni
Convening at Uganda Christian University (UCU) International Christian Medical Institute (ICMI’s) Conference Hall, the outgoing top leadership of the Social Work Association has mediated the election of new leaders yet to take up offices.
At 7:30pm on Monday, April 11, the outgoing president of the association, Specioza Nekesa, declared Joab Manige, a second-year student of Bachelor of Social Work, as the successful candidate. Manige was declared the winner after running unopposed and receiving 93 votes, putting him above the 50% threshold required for any unopposed candidate to win.
Other contenders in different positions faced stiff competition as Martha Ayebazibwe secured a narrow victory to become the Association’s Vice President after scoring 42, beating her tight rival Lynnette Babweteera, who had 38. Deborah Achieng became third with 17 votes.
Another stiffer battle was for the position of Speakership, as Emmanuel Abura scored 59, beating Tinah Akello, who scored 40. As Deputy Speaker, Racheal Dratera was declared with 64 points against Sharon Nahabwe’s 21. After all, Joy Nakimuli was declared General Secretary, Acan Organizing Secretary, Peninah Nansubuga, Publicity Secretary, Eunice Arinda, Treasurer, and Rukundo Allan, Deputy Treasurer.
Before the election, the association members had a meeting in which contestants had to campaign and answer questions to prove their capability to serve. These, however, faced a number of difficulties as some couldn’t spell out their roles if elected. The electoral team, too, wasn’t spared as a section of students doubted their independence and fairness. Others demanded that agents be allowed to do something the electoral team accepted, but no one showed up.
“I don’t think it is fair for us to allow a first-year student to run for the Vice Presidency. “I believe that Lynette Babweteera from this year on can be the best for the Vice Presidency position,” Saluwa, a final year student of Bachelor of Social Work, said during the meeting.
Commenting on the results, Manige said the new position will enable him to serve his association as best as he deserves. He vowed to pick up from where the old team had ended.
I’m excited about the new office and I thank all the electorates for the opportunity they have granted me to serve them. I will forever consult with them for the best term of service, “Manige said.
So Manige pledged to concentrate on reigniting the association, saying he would start with the publicity and secure the stamp so as to restore the lost glory.
The outgoing president, Specioza Apucho, who led the mediating electoral team, applauded the contestants and voters for having participated in the process. She said that the new team would be charged with the obligation of taking the association forward.
It has been a free and fair exercise, and a lot is expected from the new leaders. We shall be available in the event of consultations to have the best service,” Apucho said.
The virtual process registered a sizable votership despite the fact that a large section of students are preparing for the end of the Easter semester exams. According to Ivan Simwende, one of the electoral team, a percentage of 60 people turned out to cast their ballots.
“We didn’t expect the number to shoot up to such a level, but the fact that we have realized this, we thank God,” Simwende said.
To Dr. Peter Nareeba, the patron of the association, the exercise is a revelation of the progress and democracy imbedded in the Social Work faculty. He welcomed and pledged to work with the new leadership.
They should feel free to reach out to me at any time of need. We shall greatly work together, “Dr Nareeba said in a WhatsApp text