UNSA in Leadership Crisis

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In short
Benson Chark Muhumuza, the former UNSA speaker who presided over the nullified polls acknowledged having been served with a court ruling ordering fresh polls.

The Uganda National Student's Association-UNSA is in a leadership crisis following a court order blocking the incumbent leaders from acting for and behalf of the association. 

Court issued the order in response to application filed by Godfrey Akampurira, a contestant for the position of General Secretary challenging the results of the polls held on January 27th, 2016.

In his petition, Akampurira, said the election were conducted in secrecy contrary to Article 7 (d) of the UNSA constitution, which calls for public announcements for the polls across the country. He also claimed that many ineligible voters used forged student identity cards of various institutions to participate in the polls.

Akampurira also claimed that was conducted without a register.  On December 20th, 2016, Justice Margaret Oumo Oguli of the Civil Division of High court delivered her judgment nullifying the polls. She also barred all the winners of the polls from acting for and behalf of UNSA until fresh polls are held. 

Justice Oguli also awarded Akampurira Shillings 10 million in general damages for the embarrassment. The affected UNSA executive members included Joshua Mafabi, Stuart Matsiko, Juligo Innocent, Clement Turinawe, Ismael Nandala, Roman Mugalya, Shamim Kobusingye, Irene Nansubuga, Mariam Nantongo, Flavia Kabasinga, Rachael Musinguzi and Ronah Kemirembe.
On January 26, 2017, the affected leaders convened the UNSA General Assembly at Kabalega Secondary School in Masindi for fresh elections in disregard of the court order but were dispersed by Military Police.  An eye witness, Abdul Twaibu Magambo told URN that the delegates were given 20mins to vacate the school premises.
Akampurira told URN that despite serving UNSA with the court order, they attempted to proceed with the election prompting him to bring the matter to Gender, Labor and Social Development Ministry, Permanent Secretary. 

"I sought it wise to get you informed about the exercise of a decree of court against UNSA and the entire National Executive Committee members, where by the defendants lost the matter and they are proceeding to misinform the education fraternity that they are NEC members," reads Akampurira's letter.

Adding that; "they have gone further to organize an annual general meeting and elections illegally which is scheduled for 26th-27th January 2017 at Masindi. These acts are illegal and they will cost UNSA."

Benson Chark Muhumuza, the former UNSA speaker who presided over the nullified polls acknowledged having been served with a court ruling ordering fresh polls. He dismissed claims that the incumbent UNSA leaders occupied the office illegally for the whole year, saying the ruling only came after the expiry of their term of office.

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Muhumuza also argued that the failure to resolve the problem of the UNSA leadership denies students representation on various decision making bodies in the education sector such as the National Council for Higher Education.

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He says there is need to seat down and resolve the stalemate amicably.

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Tagged with: unsa

About the author

Davidson Ndyabahika
Davidson Ndyabahika is a Journalism major from Makerere University and is passionate about investigative and data journalism with special interest in feature story telling.

He has gone through digital and multi-media training both at Ultimate Multimedia Consult, and has attended Data Journalism Sessions at ACME to enrich his capacity in data journalism.

Davidson has previously freelanced with The Campus Times, The Observer, Chimp reports and URN. He is currently reporting under Education. He is also passionate about reporting on environment, health, crime and political satire writing.

Follow him on Twitter: @dndyaba