A section of the leaders of the Uganda National Students Association (Unsa) on Tuesday renewed their resolve to replace President Museveni as patron with former Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi.
At a press conference at Kyambogo University, the leaders sought to undo last week’s communication by three members of the association’s national executive committee.
Unsa President Abubaker Matanda had convened a press briefing at the Uganda Media Centre to denounce a resolution by the inter-guild council to replace Museveni with Mbabazi. Matanda’s briefing was attended by International Affairs Secretary Fatuma Kiggundu and Finance Secretary Emmanuel Ekima, but boycotted by the nine other executive members.
The controversial resolution emerged from a meeting of student leaders from 100 tertiary institutions, convened at Mbarara University of Science and Technology last month. Accusing Museveni of neglecting their issues, they fronted Mbabazi and the former head of the Anglican Church in Uganda, Henry Luke Orombi, as potential patrons.
Later communicated at a press briefing at Makerere University, the resolution sparked threats from alleged state functionaries, with Unsa leaders being pressured to drop the move or “be ready for the heat.”
At Tuesday’s conference, association leaders said Matanda’s action was “individualistic”. Matanda, Kiggundu and Ekima snubbed the Tuesday briefing because they were sitting their end-of-semester papers at the Islamic University in Uganda.
Matanda’s father is the Mbale resident district commissioner and himself a former head of the students’ body. Some leaders suspect that Matanda is only backtracking because his father is a presidential appointee.
Meanwhile, The Observer has learnt that some of the student leaders are planning to launch ‘The Uganda we want’ campaign, a platform to back the former premier’s anticipated presidential bid. However, one student leader told us that when they consulted Mbabazi on the campaign, he told them it was “not yet time to discuss that”.
Source : The Observer