Petitioner Mukisa Joshua William, LL.B III, an NCSA member and Christian student currently running in the Guild Presidential race at Makerere University challenged the constitutionality (under the Guild Constitution) of two omissions by an ad-hoc committee (‘the committee’) set up by the Guild Representative Council (GRC/the House) in April, 2018 to look into the financial challenges of Makerere University vis-à-vis tuition policy and make a report containing recommendations for
The report made above was directly tendered to university management by the committee, ultimately leading to a 15% cumulative increment in tuition fees starting with and applying only to the students newly admitted for the 2018/19 academic year and the four academic years succeeding it.
Mukisa Joshua William, made two central arguments; that the ad-hoc committee (comprising the 1st to 7th respondents) failed to table its report before the GRC as a whole prior to submitting it to the university management, effectively bypassing the House and skirting clear rules of constitutional procedure, and that secondly, the ad hoc committee failed to adequately consult the student population in the process of producing its report—in violation of both its terms of reference and the Guild Constitution.
Following university management’s adoption of the 15% increment, a number of students were suspended by the university Vice Chancellor pursuant to Regulation 6 (1) (d) of the Makerere University Students’ Regulations, 2015, for reasons factually connected with the said increment.
Flowing from the two aforementioned alleged omissions by the ad hoc committee, Mukisa Joshua William also argued that:
a) the Guild Speaker (2nd respondent) abdicated his Constitutional duty to advise and ensure that the ad hoc committee complied with the Guild Constitution in the process of executing its mandate;
b) that the Minister for Justice & Constitutional Affairs (8th respondent) abdicated his alleged duty to give legal advice to the Guild Government as a whole concerning the ad hoc committee’s acts and omissions, and the university Vice Chancellor’s suspension of several students, and;
c) that the Executive arm of the Guild Government, led by the Guild President (1st respondent) failed to fulfill its constitutional duty to pronounce and make known to the student-electorate body its position on matters of prime importance to the Guild—in this instance the acts and omissions of the ad hoc committee and the suspension of students by the Vice Chancellor.
Mukisa Joshua William, subsequently prayed for declaratory relief and such other reliefs
as the Tribunal would deem it necessary.
Mukisa Joshua William is surely capable and able to serve as Guild President of Makerere University having led this delegation.
By Victoria Sharon Babirye.
Software Engineer, Year 4