Ssenkumba is new boss of Law Society at UCU


In what seemed like a heavenly sigh of relief, the UCU Law Society that has been without its top leadership finally has elected a president, in the gallant name of Caesar Ssenkumba.

Ssenkumba is a fourth year LLB student and a remarkable tennis player. Facing off with Doreen Nyangoma Kagambe, Ssenkumba won with 163 votes against Nyangoma’s 158.

Judging by the voter demographic,the by-election proved to be a tough and cut-throat competition. Surprisingly, it also illustrated so much peacefulness as the voters cast their ballots.

In contrast with the 2015 post-guild elections which were marred with irregularities, chaos and empty blatant accusations.

This aftermath hasn’t worn out the scars that cast the UCU Electoral Commission’s ability and credibility to organise a peaceful election.

This by-election is a sincere attempt of healing old wounds, differences and most importantly one that forges a way forward for UCU’s political

landscape vis-à-vis socio- economic transformation.

The portrayal of peace and tolerance implies that the youth in UCU are finally starting to embrace the principles of good democratic governance. Asked about his perspective of the by- election, Ssenkumba simply retorted that “God has taken his pick” in his typical calm and composed demeanour.

Amidst all the pompous ululation and jubilation that congratulated him, Ssenkumba, on the other hand takes an office that needs restructuring policy and at most dedication. Doreen Nyangoma humblyconcededdefeat as she said, “Thank you all for the support.

Things didn’t go well but the Lord has a plan. Thank you and God bless you.” Now this is very touching, given that Nyangoma put up a formidable fight as well. Nyangoma represents an exceptional class of women who are willing to challenge the status quo to compete in a male-dominated field.

This act of bravery is quite admirable and for that I feel Nyangoma doesn’t go home a loser but one with a bird in the hand. She has won the hearts of faithfuls who still believe in her to serve in a position that is different. Thank you, Nyangoma for trying your best! Congratulations to Ssenkumba as well!

Nonetheless, in a war there’s always a victor and a loser. However, I urge everyone to accept all the circumstances and strive for harmony and prosperity.

Unity key to student success at university



It is with heartfelt pleasure that I welcome all the new and continuing students for this Advent Semester at Uganda Christian University (UCU).

As a man who has been here for the last one year, I can say with certainty that you made the perfect choice to be part of the intellectually enriching academic quest for knowledge and wisdom.

Usually, when one joins university, there is so much enthusiasm as one explores the new opportunities and prospects that campus has to offer.

However, caution ought to be applied when adjusting to the new environment lest you will not end up with broken expectations.

In every social setting, harmonious co-existence is vital so as to foster peace, security and co-operation.

This is what is exactly recommended for new students to ensure that they enjoy a comfortable stay at UCU.

In return, the staff is expected to treat new students to a warm reception in their various courses of study.

We owe it to each other to act with brotherly love, care and kindness rather than with acts of hooliganism, rudeness and bullying. 

Convenience brings about serenity, which translates into productive and efficient academic excellence amongst the students.

Hence, harmonisation accords students a springboard to exploit their full potential.

UCU, with a history of cultural diversity, needs unity and social integration if freshers are to benefit from vitality and diversity to our heritage.

As much as most of us desire peace, some criminal elements are lurking in the shadows ready to lure unsuspecting new students. You have got to be extremely vigilant about the new friends you make.

The most common of them all are the fraudulent conmen who come with get- rich- quick schemes targeting your tuition fees and pocket money. Do not be tempted to join as that is a shortcut to not graduating.

Unity starts from a personal initiative. It is a virtue that starts within us. In his address to the Indian people on January 27, 2015, US president Barack Obama stated that, “the peace we seek in the world begins in our human hearts and it finds its glorious expression when we look beyond our differences and rejoice in the beauty of every soul.”

UCU offers the spiritual, cultural, academic and natural environment to find the good in one another. Enjoy your stay.

Youth should re-think approach to the unemployment problem

Youth affiliated to the National Association of the Unemployed demostrating against the lack of jobs in Kampala last year (Courtesy photo)


Stories abound of how many disgruntled youth flock the dusty streets of Uganda effortlessly searching for employment to no avail, daily.

Further, only 8,000 jobs are available for the 100,000 university graduates who complete their studies per annum. This often translates into frustration, unmet expectations and depression for those unemployed.

One then wonders: have the youth been condemned to the jaws of utter poverty? As an optimist, I do not subscribe to such oversimplified narratives. I believe in a better tomorrow for the youth in Uganda. I know that resilience can aid the youth in finding sustainable work, receiving better education and contributing to peace and development in their communities.

To achieve these dreams, we need not sound like impotent conference table lamentations but instead adopt a comprehensive and holistically strategy for the youth. Stakeholders should emphasize formulation of practical, tailor-made incentives of the youth. 

The government has endeavoured to put in place state partnerships to enable the youth start up businesses. For instance, the Youth Livelihood Fund was initiated by President Yoweri Museveni, to the tune of over Shs265 billion. jobs

This fund was initiated in the faith that the youth could acquire start-up capital. The repayment of such grants could come from the enterprise profits. Active participation in such beneficial projects will catapult youth development in Uganda.

The government should also try to implement cheap financing in the agri-business sector so as to improve livelihoods. Furthermore, the discovery of oil and gas in the Albertine Region means that more opportunities can be created for the youth to enable them substantively contribute to society.

Further, those making small and bigger triumphs ought to get rewarded with grants for their success. And increased investment in health, sexual and reproductive health can all pave the way for socio-economic growth.

In the area of reproductive health, self-help projects for young women prevents them from having no choice but to stay home in a role that limits their ability to work outside their home, against their will to do so. 

Other social evils that need to be addressed include betting and hooliganism.To counter this, a number of things can be done. For example, the graduates should embrace internship so as to garner more skills and experience for job market absorption.

A positive attitude also helps the youth to adopt to change and embrace new opportunities. Finally, to all the hardworking youth out there, it is time for us to conquer hurdles and toast to new beginnings. Don’t lose hope yet.

Is public nudity a cry for freedom?


On April 9, 2012 and April 14, 2015, w o m e n in Amuru District held a nude protest against the grabbing of their farmland.

They were apparently acting in desperation at the loss of their source of livelihood.

Not so long ago, the highly publicised Dr Stella Nyanzi saga raised so much dust in the media.

She stripped naked whilst hurling obscenities that Prof Mahmood Mamdani, the dean Makerere Institute of Social Research, had blocked her out of an office to which she felt entitled and was not being listened to.

Whereas some women embrace public nudity as a powerful revolutionary tool, some schools of thought, such as the moralists, take exception.

The moralists’ view is that public nudity is outrightly immoral because it is inherently sexual and a bad precedent for the younger children.

The law terms such displays as indecent exposure and lewd behaviour as stated in the Penal Code.

We all know that the courts of law, the police and other sources of administrative authority exist to serve unbiased and equitable justice to citizens.

But what if public confidence in justice is diminishing? Does the exposure of breasts and genitalia then substitute the justice system?

The counter argument is that public nudity portrays vulnerability and strength because it is utterly disarming. 

The intent of fragility is exploited too as a strategy for social and political action. Nakedness demonstrates submission and therefore purposeful vulnerability. It is the last line of defence, despite its loss of civility.

Inasmuch as nude protests seek to serve certain purposes, they leave a lot to be desired.

As feminists strive to fight sexism, nudity succeeds in escalating patriarchal gender stereotypes.

It is certain that the intent of such protests can be misled with the notion that women can only get attention using their physicality and not the strength of their merit.

In general, swaying public attention is much harder to achieve with public nudity.

So, while it is important to desire change and be taken seriously, we need to stick to sustainable modes of protest that will not leave us emotionally spent, devoid of pride.

The downside of character assassination


Character assassination has been a phenomenal vice since time immemorial. Often, tabloids are swept awash with societal scandals that sarcastically seem to be public fodder for amusement.

Basically, character assassination is the slandering of a person usually with the intention of destroying public confidence in them.

J.B. Sheridan’s “School Of Scandal” illustrates how defamation consumed seventeenth century England. The streets were widespread with rumour about petty issues.

What prompts my concern is how gruesome character assassination is executed. Many people can get hurt through the mistaken belief that they’re morally stained in the eyes of these societal stereotypes.

Character assassination can manifest in many forms. It can involve dishonest criticism, spreading of rumours, and manipulation of facts to present an untrue picture of the targeted person, deliberate misinformation on topics relating to the subject’s morals, integrity and reputation. Consequently this permanently stains a person’s character.

In most scenarios, the damage is irreparable to the aftertaste of the rumour mill. In grave instances, victims can go as far as committing or contemplating suicide because they can’t stomach the ridicule and condemnation.

Today, many people indulge in this evil for reasons known to only themselves. It could be a jilted lover or a narcissist trying to make a victim’s life hard. Sadly, the resurgence of social media has catapulted the transmission of these negative messages.

It’s a social injustice to condemn a person without according them a fair hearing. Anybody accused of a crime deserves a presumption of innocence until proven otherwise.

Recently, one of my lecturers reiterated the aspect of fairness. He mentioned a scenario where he was on a law entry interview panel. One of the interviewees, a girl had walked in with piercings on her body. To make it worse, she had tattoos on her body.

Without a word said, she had already been condemned by the other panelists for being grossly immoral. To her aid, he applied a holistic approach and instead commended her intellectual virtue.

She graduated with good grades and moral uprightness as well. Had she been turned away, only God knows what would have become of her?

We should love others unconditionally and not see them as mere adversaries to be fought as a means to an end. Putting out another person’s candle doesn’t make yours any brighter.

The writer is first year law student.

Tackling bedbugs in UCU halls


Bedbugs are not a myth. Neither are they a joke! This reality soon hits you when you become a victim of the dreaded creatures.

Michael Tumwine of A-Block in Nsibambi Hall, had this say. “My first night was discomforting and a torture! I stayed up late trying to ward off bedbugs from my bedsheets.

“Inasmuch as the fumigation was re-done, the attacks still persisted.”

So as to maintain a healthy environment, the health personnel always do the fumigation as scheduled, and occasionally as the need arises. According to the custodian’s office, the Directorate of Facilities and Capital Projects is in charge of fumigation.

Every beginning of semester fumigation is done at Nsibambi, Sabiiti, and Mukasa halls, as well as the Honour’s College and at the Faculty of Science and Technology. Parks are also duly covered.

The custodian, Nsibambi, appeals to all students to report their complaints and suggestions as soon as possible.

“Bedbugs manifest due to poor hygienic conditions and visitors can be carriers as well,” he added, stating that cleanliness is ideal to keep away bedbugs.

A strict health regimen needs to be emphasized in residential halls. Sometimes it takes more than just fumigation to totally wipe out bedbugs. Thus it is no use spraying residential halls if the occupants don’t put in the effort required to mitigate the infestation of bedbugs.

The emphasis here is on sustainable health practices. The onus is upon students to maintain proper health conditions like regular cleaning of the rooms, and washing dirty clothes often.

Dirty clothes harbour bacteria, which supports the survival of bedbugs. The sportsmen who engage in vigorous exercise and sweat a lot need to dispose of their clothes in a laundry bag, if not washed immediately. In so doing, UCU is able to achieve a complete education for a complete person!

Further, ensure penetration of adequate light into the room so as to illuminate all the dark spots, which can act as breeding ground for bedbugs.

Remember that bedbugs have a very high breeding rate. With such measures in place, students like Michael won’t need to worry any more about bedbugs.

Where are the love letters?


Not so long ago, in a land of a thousand dreams, probably the 1950s, somewhere in an old bungalow lived a sweet youthful woman that I now call grandmother (Clementina).

All alone and in a relaxed composure, she sat and wrote love letters to her husband far away in the cold confines of Mbale Prison, working day and night as a warden. These moments of solitude evoke strong memories of the love letters I have written all in the name of cupid.

As if to ascertain that she was alone, she would hide her palms beneath the sheets of paper just to exaggerate that the letters were only for her eyes. People write letters so as to feel good about those moments they had or never had. Others would go as far as to spray cologne so as to add that aromatic aura synonymous with romanticism.

Sadly, letter writing seems to fade fast as the time that swishes by the day. It’s much harder to believe this tragic death as an utmost evolution of survival.

Yes, email is a wonderful invention. It links people across the world, destroying in an instant hurdle of geography that confronts snail mail. Yet it’s by nature ephemeral and lacks the spark of character that only handwriting can provide. When you get an email, you can never be sure that you are the only recipient or even that it’s original”.

In a world run by these machines we call technology, deep inside, slowly, dies the art of letter writing in place of buzzing social media. When the aspect of social media comes into play, the first thing that comes to mind is the instant messaging that seems to take the bragging rights.

The anticipation never dies in the letters. With all the hushy and pushy feeling of email, it never gets better with the impatience that seems to breed so fast in our dotcom era.

Sometimes people go as far as breaking cups because a reply hasn’t yet arrived, say on their Whatsapp platform.

Let’s re-ignite this form of expression. There’s so much more to tell in a love letter than meets eye.