Mbarara’s Bishop Stuart University in on the spot for allegedly blocking one of the students from contesting in the impending guild presidential elections, because he subscribes to the “People Power” movement which is led by Kyadondo East MP Robert Kyagulanyi Sentamu.
Solomon Atwebembire, a second year student accuses the university of systematically curtailing his efforts to register for the top student leadership position.
He also claims to have been directly confronted and reprimanded by some university leaders because of his political beliefs.
Aspirants for the guild presidency at the university, two weeks ago started getting clearances and making payments to be nominated for the race.
But Mr Atwebembire says since last week none of the signatories has agreed to sign on his form.
He says he has only managed to get the signature of his home church reverend, back in Bushenyi district.
The Faculty Dean, Students’ Dean, Academic Registrar, Chief Accountant, Head of Department and even the University Chaplain, he says, have all declined to sign his clearance form.
“At one point I was thrown out of the lecture room by one the lecturers, Mrs Florence Atieno, when I came dressed in red,” Atwebembire told ChimpReports yesterday.
“This same lecturer is the head of our department and she’s supposed to sign on my form, but I have been chasing her since last week, until I was caught by the deadline on Monday.”
Atwebembire also claims that his campaign banners were pulled down by university officials.
Bishop Stuart University as a matter of policy, doesn’t allow students to directly participate in national party politics at campus.
But Atwebembire, who formerly belonged to the FDC, says the People Power movement is not a registered political party.
He, through his lawyer Deusdedit Bwengye have since petitioned the Equal Opportunities Commission seeking a number of interventions.
Among others, they want the commission to order the university to allow Atwebembire to register for the guild race, and also to extend the registration deadline as well as the polling date which is April 29th.
The commission is expected to provide a ruling today.
When reached to respond, BSU spokesperson Mrs Rose Rwankore accused the complainant of telling lies, adding that he probably did not meet all the requirements to be cleared for the race.
“He should be true to himself,” she said.
“You should ask him whether he has sat all the tests and paid all the dues.”
But Atwebembire says he has checked all the boxes and even paid Shs 500,000 registration fee for the guild presidential nomination.
His lawyer, Mr Bwenge slammed the university for being politically biased, citing a recent incident where the Chaplain, one Enock Mwesigye during one of his sermons, sternly attacked students who belong the People Power group, branding them as dangerous.
Months ago, Mr Bwengye successfully dragged Bishop Stuart University to court for discriminating against students on the basis of their religion.
While the institution accepts all students from all religions, only Anglicans are allowed to contest in the guild elections.
Other positions such as the chairperson of the electoral commission and the vice chairperson are also reserved for Anglicans.
The university constitution’s Sec 3 (1) states, “Contestants for the office of the Guild President shall be members of the Anglican communion with integrity.”
The university spokesperson while speaking to this website, admitted that this is their policy.
She added however, that this is the same policy followed by other Christian based institutions around the country.
BSU recently rushed to High Court to challenge the magistrate’s court order to rescind this discriminatory policy.
The High Court is yet to pronounce itself on the petition.