Kampala- Campaigns for the Makerere University guild presidency kicked off yesterday with a public rally held at Livingstone Hall. A total of eight candidates are vying for the post with elections slated for March 13.
The eight are; Mr Musa Mwine, Mr Andrew Baguma, Mr Festus Tusiime Bamwoya, Mr Henry Lubega, Mr Micheal Opoya, Mr Ivan Sentongo, Mr George Williams Mukula and Ms Stellah Namulindwa , the only female contestant in the race.
In an interview with Daily Monitor, Mr Dennis Okori, the public relations officer for the Makerere guild electoral commission, said they had instituted measures to guard against election violence, acts of hooliganism and vote rigging.
“We have held a meeting with police, candidates and the administration and agreed on a few key issues. Campaigns for candidates will strictly start at 3pm and stop at 6pm,” Mr Okori said.
He added that a soft copy of all registered voters will be availed to all candidates as a means of preventing claims of election rigging.
The elections will be held at college/school level and not at hall level as has been the norm. Eligible students will be required to present valid university identity cards while those without will present copies of admission letters whose authenticity will be cross checked on the register.
Inspector of Police Geoffrey Ayo, the officer in charge of Makerere University Police Station, said they had engaged all candidates to sensitise their supporters to ensure that they do not engage in acts of violence regardless of their political affiliations.
“We have already received the programme for the campaigns and we are going to adequately deploy our officers at all rallies. We shall also ensure the safety of the candidates off campus such as at Mulago medical school and in Kabanyoro,” Mr Ayo said and urged all students to maintain discipline and respect the law.
Although a number of candidates have professed their party affiliation, the guild electoral commission says it is not provided for in the constitution to recognise any political party. No party symbol or colour appears on our ballot.
According to a copy of the campaign programme seen by this newspaper, the campaigns will move to different halls of residence and culminate into what has been termed as the presidential intellectual debate on March 8.