Makerere university politics laden with “Kyankwazi sole candidature,” intrigues and price!

Makerere university politics laden with “Kyankwazi sole candidature,” intrigues and price!
Makerere university guild race: Mwine Musa is the FDC flag bearer in.
Makerere university guild race: Mwine Musa is the FDC flag bearer in. (Photo: Zahra Abdul)

You may be concerned about fake degree awarded to some Makerere university students who graduated in January 2015, a story that has claimed space in global media, but students at the oldest public university in Uganda are talking about politics.

Mid this month (March 2015), Makerereans will go to polls to elect new leaders. A close examination of Makerere hill politics confirms that ‘students play the dirty game like their fathers.’

In the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) camp, Mwine Musa, party flag bearer started what his political foes have code named ‘Kyankwazi sole candidature.’ He planted his fanatics in the party as delegates. Since he is a Munyankole, he filled the party with Banyankole. This is a proof that tribalism still plays a central role in our motherland politics. By the time his rivals rouse up, they had been smartly out-mastered politically. He even appointed his cabinet last year.

His two opponents limped off and decided to contest as independent candidates. As result of divergences in the FDC camp, a scuffle ensued about a week ago when Mwine Musa camp battled the chapter putrburo to declare their man as the party flag bearer.

They clutched party stamp from the speaker, signed and pinned posters around campus notifying students that the party was holding a delegates conference to elect party flag bearer.To cut the story short, they elected their man to lead the party in the guild presidential race.

Most political ambitious students who lose party primaries force themselves into the race as independent candidates. Bwowe Ivan attempted it last year and he won the guild race. These students are walking in the footsteps of many independents parliamentarians we have around. Awful news for Uganda People’s Congress (UPC) diehards! You failed to fill a candidate in the guild race.

Makerere universty NRM fellows.
Makerere universty NRM fellows.

Vote has a price at Makerere! Commercialization of politics is another mischief taking roots. Girls and a number of boys trade their votes for cheap sweets while boys who booze give up their votes in exchange for liquor, especially sackets of crude waragi.

Interestingly, NRM chapter moblisers are biting their chests promising and comforting us that money will come directly from state house. Poor students hardly flourish politically even when they raise substantive ideas. Every time students see political aspirants, they start shouting: logistics! Logistics! A term used to euphemistically refer to ‘pay for the vote.’

And sometimes ‘wild students’ under the pretext of promoting culture move around with boxes labelled ‘culture box’ demanding political aspirants to put in money in exchange for blessings from ancestral gods.

My friend is in contesting to represent our school in the Guild Council. He has already contacted our area Members of Parliament requesting them to finance his campaigns. He is planning to spend about 300,000shs. No money, no votes!

Most politicians, both successful and failures went through Makerere University. And a number of them like Nobert Mao, Olaru Otunu, Amama Mbabazi, Mukasa Mbidde, Gerald Karuhanga and many more once held Makerere university political office, however what I can’t understand is: did they purchase votes? Did they establish intrigues?

One reason to explain the above mischief in the university politics is political socialisation. Students have been quick to learn trickeries that senior politicians use to capture or remain in power. None of the above disgraceful strategies to win votes have been invented by Makerere students. They simply learn from senior politicians.

A substantive question to ask is: what is the political future of our motherland? Doom laden! Politics is primary to our society and we must elect virtuous leaders who will formulate sounding policies rather catering for their bellies. How will these young politicians behave when elected to ministerial offices? Alas!

Written by John Blanshe M

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