Kampala, Uganda | URN | Ivan Ssempijja has been elected the new Guild President of Makerere University. He replaces Julius Kateregga.
In an election that was organized both physically and online, Ssempijja, a fourth-year student of Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery defeated two other candidates in the Guild President race. Ssempijja garnered 3,112 votes while his close rival Aaron Oguttu obtained 1,833 votes, National Resistance Movement (NRM) party leaning candidate Edwine Bbosa Bwetuyita got 248 votes.
There was confusion before the winner was announced when the Chairperson of the University’s Electoral Commission (EC), Jackson Twijukye failed to sign on the declaration form and went away with the stamp which created tension, however Twijukye declared Ssempijja a winner.
Ssempijja who was contesting as an independent candidate got a major boost when Judith Nalukwago, the National Unity Platform (NUP) candidate withdrew from the race and backed Ssempijja.
Before polling day, two other candidates who include favourite Obedigue Derrick and Mackzzon Muhwezi also withdrew from the race for failing to meet requirements from the electoral commission.
Only final year students voted physically at the different polling stations in the university while the continuing students voted online. According to Rodney Kiggundu, Makerere Guild Electoral Commission Public Relations Officer, the process was free and fair despite several concerns that were raised by the students.
Kiggundu however said the election was delayed by some technical glitches that disrupted the online voting, he says online voting went up to 6 pm.