Makerere University Management through the students’ Dean of students has tasked the 87th guild to review the existing constitutional provisions and election guidelines ahead of the 88th guild elections.
Among these is the guild constitution, the guild elections regulations No.1 of 2018 and guidelines to conduct a blend of Electronic and physical guild elections.
In her letter dated 19th April, the Dean of students, Ms Winifred Kabumbuli says that the electoral regulations had a number of ‘crisscrossing legal interpretation’. The dean has therefore requested amendment of the laws to ensure that they don’t affect the future guild processes.
The Makerere election regulations No.1 of 2018 introduced a few changes that rose debates among students such as the ban of rallies in halls of residences, increment in GRC nomination fees from 80,000 to 100,000 and reduction of number of rallies limiting them to only four.
Similarly, the guidelines on conducting a blend of electronic and physical elections were interpreted differently with some students believing that the 87th guild elections shouldn’t have been blended given that students were back on campus.
The regulations have brought about confusion in the recent past as students interpret them different. The Dean of students therefore seeks amendment to these laws to ensure clarity.
Some student leaders have not welcomed the request for amendments alleging that the amendments only intend to uphold blended elections.
Husein Ibra, the GRC Lumumba hall, rejected the request for amendments saying that they are into examination period and have no time to make amendments which will take a lot of time. Ibra also says that talking about blended elections at such a time when the economy is fully reopen is pointless.
“Having achieved a physical reopening of the university, the discussion of blended elections in a fully reopened economy is null and void,” Hussein argued.
Makerere University will conduct blended learning in the forthcoming semester as per the academic calendar. This therefore, ushers in a debate on whether the guild elections will be blended or not.
The 87th guild speaker is expected to provide new election guidelines and a constitutional review to the Dean of students by 30th April 2022.