Lira – ‘The beacon” is the tagline or motto for Lira University, one of progressing public universities for the nine districts in Lango sub-region.
The university located about five kilometres from Lira town is currently preparing for guild elections and political enthusiasm is vivid on the faces of students [electorates].
Lira University guild politics is however unique for a sole reason; that as much as most universities allow party politics, it’s almost a near taboo at the “beacon”.
But even so, parties work under the carpet to ensure that they take the mantle of leadership, and this is evident by the fact that the outgoing guild president, Dickens Otim is a congress man.
Now, the Uganda People’s Congress is at it again seeking to maintain their grip on the guild presidency, reports TND News’ senior political correspondent and analyst, Frank Oyugi.
On Wednesday, UPC national youth chairperson, Ms Brenda Atim Kinyera on the ‘command’ from UPC party president, Mr Jimmy Akena held a consultative meeting with over 200 students at Black Roof hostel at Lira university campus. In that meet, UPC candidate for the guild’s presidency, Mr Moses Okeng attended.
“I bring you warm greetings from the party president and your area MP, Jimmy Akena,” Atim opened her speech, going ahead to disclose to the students that Akena “loves the youth and has interest in university politics”.
The UPC national coordinator then told the students that it was not yet time for campaigns but rather a forum to build consensus for Moses Okeng, a UPC candidate.
Atim told the students that UPC has the youth “at heart”, citing programs like the Young Politicians in Africa which has seen many youth receive mentorship in Uganda and Tanzania and pledged to enrol some of the students of Lira University for the same.
The session also attracted reactions from the students who sought answers on some occurrences in the party.
“Some of us are eager to know, for instance why does the party (UPC) seems to be losing support day by day? And also you have not told us the ideology of UPC,” a student asked.
To which Agustine Otim also known as Great Moses, a student of Executive Masters in Business Administration but majoring in Management responded that: “UPC’s major agenda is aimed at eradicating poverty, disease and ignorance.”
Vicky Amony, a student of Bachelor of Business Administration voiced her concern for the party to ensure alternative policies that will address the skyrocketing youth unemployment and that, State house scholarship should be extended to youth from vulnerable families.
In her response, Brenda Atim Kinyera said: “The party will design a program for disseminating the ideologies and UPC programs.”
On the issue of State house scholarship, Atim said: “I am personally a beneficiary of State house scholarship but currently government has reserved for only Karamoja region.”
Ms Atim pledged to say the concern of the students when she meets with the president in March.
Dickens Otim, the current guild president commended Atim for taking time to visit the campus and said it was a step in the right direction, further asking students to ensure they participate and elect leaders of good moral track record “for the greater good of Lira University”.
Moreen Atim, a guild representative in the Senate also attended the consultative meeting and encouraged fellow students to rise up and hold the mantle of leadership should the need arise, and she equally expressed interest for position of women affairs.