Live Bullets, Tear Gas Rock IUIU as People Power Supporter Wins Guild Polls

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Students gathered at Sumaya hall to cheer up their candidates during the guild presidential debate (Courtesy Photo)

Live bullets and teargas rocked the main campus of Islamic University in Uganda-IUIU in Mbale district on Saturday evening as police dispersed rowdy students.

It all started shortly after the IUIU Guild Electoral Commission Chairperson, Gava Kasango declared Yusuf Welunga, a third year Law student and People Power Supporter winner of the guild polls.

He garnered 1279 votes beating his closet rival, Muhammad Abdul Aziz, a student of Bachelors of Statics who gathered 582 votes.

Police fired teargas and live bullets as the students burst in celebrations chanting the People power slogan following Welunga’s victory.

The IUIU Security Officer, Ratib Juma said police used tear gas and bullets to disperse rowdy students to stop them from suffocating the Guild elect.

The guild polls were highly contested with allegations of voting rigging from each camp. In other polls Fatimah Nakibuule, a Second Year Student of Education was voted second IUIU First lady with 509 votes against 411 votes managed by her rival, Halima Ahmed Hassan, a student of Statistics.

According to some of the students, the election pit Ugandan students against their colleagues from Somalia, who they accused of dominating the student leadership for a very long time.

Ibrahim Nsisiro, a third year student of Mass Communication, said People Power activists on campus brought the Ugandan candidates because they wanted change in leadership.

Moses Wangolo, another third Mass Communication student, said international students have been winning Guild elections in the past because of disunity among Ugandan students.

He likened Somali administration to the NRM government, which has stayed in power for 34 years, saying they were yearning for change.

Gava Kasango, the IUIU Guild Electoral Commission Chairperson described the elections as free and fair.

Addressing students before the polls Dr. Sulait Kabali, the Dean of Students, said they were interested in seeing students choose leaders of their own choice and asked the losers to respect the results.

Yusuf Welunga, the Guild President elect said that his first task is to institute committees that would ensure accountability to students.

He said he had a committed and determined campaign team, which explains his victory.

(URN)

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