MP wants Makerere convocation nullified

MP wants Makerere convocation nullified

By Augustine A.

MUK2Western Uganda Youth Member of Parliament Gerald Karuhanga has asked court to nullify the newly elected Makerere University convocation executive saying the whole electoral process was a sham.

Karuhanga wants court to declare that the election of the MUK convocation executive consisting of 12 people was illegal and therefore null and void.

He is also seeking court orders quashing the Makerere convocation election results that were issued by the academic registrar who also doubles as the returning officer, Alfred Masikye Namoah, on March 30, 2015.

Among other things, he accuses Namoah of withholding the convocation election guidelines until March 28, when it was too late to for it to be of benefit.

Karuhanga claims that Namoah also withheld the electoral roll thus denying them the chance to scrutinize and clean up the voters’ register.

Gerald Karuhanga who contested and lost Makerere University convocation chairmanship poistion

He filed the suit with six other alumni of the university. They include: Chris Niwandinda, Anna Adeke Ebaju, Alex Luganda, Julius Mutabazi, Joshua Rukundo and Gideon Aturinda against Makerere University and Dr. Tanga Odoi.

Other respondents are: Diana Nyago, Deus Kamunyu, Justus Nuwajjuna, Bazilio Kamya, Faith Kirungi, Margaret Najjuka, Juliet Nakalema, Denis Namara, Racheal Olando and Spencer Sabiiti.

Both the applicants and the respondents participated and contested in the 2015/2019 elections of the Makerere University convocation held at the University in March. The respondents were declared winners against the applicants.

Makerere convocation is an association of graduates and staff of MUK created by section 70 (1) of the Universities and other Tertiary Institutions Act 2001 and regulated by the Convocation constitution.

The applicants contend that the Namoah abruptly and unjustifiably cancelled the 23rd general meeting of the convocation and changed the elections venue from the freedom square to the main building which could not cater for the over 20,000 voters.

“He without reasonable excuse failed to convene a meeting of candidates and their agents prior to the elections to agree on the modalities for conducting the convocation elections,” Niwandinda alleged in his affidavit.

The applicants allege that Namoah released a list of ghost names as graduates and university staff without specified particulars like course, name and registration number.

Gerald Karuhanga speaking at the Convocation

“When he realized this anomaly, he made a public declaration that those, whose names are not in the register, should check on his laptop and flash diskette,” Karuhanga said.

The academic registrar and Prof. Jacob Agea who was the presiding officer, are accused of disrupting the electoral process with the latter running away with the voters’ register and ballot papers during the course of elections.

According to the affidavit sworn by Karuhanga, these actions disrupted the whole electoral process and when he asked Namoah to find an urgent solution, he (Namoah) instead called in police to chase away the stranded voters.

Through their lawyers from  center for legal Aid, they allege that Namoah defied the convocation constitution by arbitrarily denying candidates chance to address voters and canvass for votes at the AGM, the requisite electoral roll and the opportunity for voters who turned up to vote in a free and fair elections.

Karuhanga, who referred to the whole process as a sham, is now asking court to set aside the election results of the convocation, and order the academic registrar to organize fresh elections in conformity with the convocation constitution.

The applicants also want an order directing Namoah to prepare and publish a valid elections guideline for the convocation at least 30 days before elections.

They also want an injunction restraining Makerere and its convocation from using the inflated and sham voters’ register during elections.

Makerere University is yet to file their defence. Meanwhile, the case has been set for hearing on April 27, 2015.


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