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Makerere University 87th Guild President, GRCs Sworn In

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The newly elected Makerere University Guild President, Cabinet and Guild Representatives have been sworn in today, 26th November 2021 to effectively commence duties.

The swearing-in-ceremony took place at the CTF 2 Auditorium, presided over by the Dean of Students Mrs. Winifred Kabumbuli who represented the Vice Chancellor Professor Barnabas Nawangwe.

On a brilliant event graced by many elders, both the outgoing and incoming students’ representatives, a number of guild representatives from Halls of Residence, Colleges, Schools, Persons with Disabilities, Dag Hammarskjold Hall, Kabanyolo hostels and Galloway Hall were sworn in. The Guild President Ms. Shamim Nambassa and her Guild Cabinet were also sworn in.

87th Guild President Shamim Nambassa taking Oath. Photo by Alex Mugalu
87th Guild President Shamim Nambassa taking Oath. Photo by Alex Mugalu

At the beginning of this month, Ms. ShamimNambassa won the Guild Presidential race after garnering 5,610 Valid Votes, representing 54.16% of the total ballot count. Ms. Nambassa replaced Ivan Ssempijja in the office.

After swearing in, H.E. Nambassa said she is excited to lead the student guild that will usher in Makerere’s 100 years of existence celebrations. “I assume office at a very critical time when Makerere University is about to celebrate 100 years. For the 87 years of the 100 the students’ guild has been around but I am only the 5th lady out of the 87,” Nambassa briefly stated.

Representing the Vice Chancellor, the Dean of Students Mrs. Winifred Kabumbuli applauded the outgoing Guild leadership for the good leadership they have exhibited during their term of service.

GRCs taking Oath. Photo by Alex Mugalu
GRCs taking Oath. Photo by Alex Mugalu

“I thank the outgoing guild leadership led by Ivan Ssempijja for the outstanding performance. I must admit that they contributed to quality enhancement of academic and social well being of students.”

Mrs. Kabumbuli also acknowledged the central role played by the guild electoral commission led by chairman William Kananga for organising a petition-less election. “The electoral commission, thank you very much, you are exceptional, excellent much less unsurpassed, indeed you were fit for the purpose, you deserve all the accolades,” she said.

Students With Disabilities swearing in. Photo by Alex Mugalu
Students With Disabilities swearing in. Photo by Alex Mugalu

In a speech read by the Dean of Students, the Vice Chancellor Professor Barnabas Nawangwe congratulated the newly elected leaders for the triumph. “I congratulate all those who stood for various posts and were successfully elected as well as those who have been appointed in various positions of the executive leadership of the guild, I warmly congratulate you. I also thank the voters who turned up to vote in big numbers”.

Professor Nawangwe also appealed to the newly sworn-in leaders to cooperate with University administration to ensure the wellbeing of students.

 “To the new guild leadership, I appeal to you to begin your work with dedication and humility knowing very well that you have been called upon to serve your university beyond self. Please pay special attention to the University Council, the Senate, the College Boards and other statutory organs, the GRC as well as policies, procedures and regulations of the University. In particular, the guild leadership should join Management to encourage students to pay fees in the remaining time,” Prof Nawangwe added.

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Mak holds Mental Health Awareness Campaign for International Students

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Mr. Henry Nsubuga, Mr. Peter Mwanja, Dr. Gardner Herbert and other officials pose with International Students at the event on 12th April 2024. Mental Health Awareness Campaign organized by the International Students Union in partnership with the Counselling and Guidance Centre, International Office and Office of the Dean of Students, 12th April 2024, Senate Conference Hall, Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda, East Africa.

By Betty Nabisubi

On Friday 12th April 2024, over 100 international students convened at Makerere University to participate in the Mental Health Awareness Campaign organized by the International Students Union in partnership with the Counselling and Guidance Centre, International Office and Office of the Dean of Students.

The campaign, which included both physical and virtual participants, rallied international students to always ask for help. The annual event enables students to participate in engaging discussions, and provides a platform for them to openly share and address personal and academic challenges, both on and off campus.

The aim of holding a mental health awareness campaign for international students in the university is to promote mental well-being and provide support and resources for students facing mental health challenges. Furthermore, it seeks to raise awareness about common mental health issues, reduce stigma surrounding mental illness, and educate students on available mental health services and support networks. Additionally, it aims to empower students to recognize signs of distress, encourage help-seeking behavior, and foster a supportive and inclusive campus community where students feel comfortable discussing mental health concerns.

Mr. Peter Mwanja, Warden of University Hall represented the Office of the Dean of Students. Mental Health Awareness Campaign organized by the International Students Union in partnership with the Counselling and Guidance Centre, International Office and Office of the Dean of Students, 12th April 2024, Senate Conference Hall, Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda, East Africa.
Mr. Peter Mwanja, Warden of University Hall represented the Office of the Dean of Students.

In line with the Mental Health Awareness Campaign theme; It is ok to ask for help, each Official urged the international students to seek guidance and support from the right offices and entities within the Makerere University system.

The Office of the Dean of Students represented by Mr. Peter Mwanja, Warden of University Hall emphasized the importance of students seeking help rather than isolating themselves in their hostels when faced with problems. He urged students to refrain from complaining about lack of assistance, but instead take action by speaking up when faced with challenges. Mr. Mwanja pledged to stand with the students throughout their academic journey so as to ensure that they have a fruitful stay at Makerere University.

In the same spirit, the Manager of the Makerere University Counselling and Guidance Centre, Mr. Henry Nsubuga called upon international students to utilize their services. He appealed to students to seek for help whenever they feel distressed.

Manager of the Makerere University Counselling and Guidance Centre, Mr. Henry Nsubuga. Mental Health Awareness Campaign organized by the International Students Union in partnership with the Counselling and Guidance Centre, International Office and Office of the Dean of Students, 12th April 2024, Senate Conference Hall, Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda, East Africa.
Manager of the Makerere University Counselling and Guidance Centre, Mr. Henry Nsubuga.

“Please come to the Centre when you need help. The Centre is ready to provide assistance upon any distress signal. I assure you that nobody will judge you for not being okay. We have professional counsellors who are willing to help,” remarked Mr. Nsubuga.  The Makerere University Counselling and Guidance Centre is conveniently located at Plot 106, Mary Stuart Road, opposite Mary Stuart Hall.

Dr. Gardner Herbert from the Julius Nyerere Leadership Centre at Makerere University emphasized the importance of emotional intelligence, which encompasses the ability to understand, manage, and express one’s own emotions effectively, as well as to recognize and respond appropriately to the emotions of others. He highlighted the significance of students possessing skills such as self-awareness, self-regulation, social awareness, and relationship management.

Dr. Gardner Herbert from the Julius Nyerere Leadership Centre (JNLC). Mental Health Awareness Campaign organized by the International Students Union in partnership with the Counselling and Guidance Centre, International Office and Office of the Dean of Students, 12th April 2024, Senate Conference Hall, Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda, East Africa.
Dr. Gardner Herbert from the Julius Nyerere Leadership Centre (JNLC).

Self-awareness, he emphasized, serves as the foundation of emotional intelligence. This involves recognizing and understanding one’s own emotions, strengths, weaknesses, values, and motivations. Dr. Gardner explained that ndividuals with high self-awareness are better equipped to comprehend how their emotions influence their thoughts and behaviors, leading to more informed decision-making and greater self-control.

Mr. Gerald Ochwo on behalf of the Makerere University International Office encouraged the audience to visit the premises on Flat A5, Block A, Lincoln Flats for their mandate is anchored on ensuring that International students’ university experience is enriching. Furthermore, he emphasised the importance of students managing their visas proactively, instead of rushing to renew them either at the last minute or upon expiry. He pledged to organize more events to foster relationships among students.

Ms. Olivia Mwanje shared a lived experience as an International Masters Student. Mental Health Awareness Campaign organized by the International Students Union in partnership with the Counselling and Guidance Centre, International Office and Office of the Dean of Students, 12th April 2024, Senate Conference Hall, Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda, East Africa.
Ms. Olivia Mwanje shared a lived experience as an International Masters Student.

Focusing on nurturing a supportive environment for students away from home, the International Office invited Ms. Olivia Mwanje, a student of Makerere University pursuing a Master’s degree in Climate Change and Development at the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences to share a lived experience.

Ms. Mwanje was one of the beneficiaries of the exchange students’ programme to Utrecht University in the Netherlands. Her testimony served to demonstrate to international students that with dedication and sacrifice, it is possible to leave one’s home country, study abroad, and excel both academically and personally. She encouraged students to remain focused on their academic programmes despite the allure of other pursuits.

The Guild President, H.E. Vincent Lubega Nsamba. Mental Health Awareness Campaign organized by the International Students Union in partnership with the Counselling and Guidance Centre, International Office and Office of the Dean of Students, 12th April 2024, Senate Conference Hall, Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda, East Africa.
The Guild President, H.E. Vincent Lubega Nsamba.

“I urge you, fellow students, to remain steadfast in your educational aspirations while exploring the opportunities available. Prioritize your academic goals over non-academic pursuits,” said Ms. Mwanje. She stressed that deviating from the primary objective leads to unintended consequences. For instance, she shared stories of students who abandoned their academic pursuits for menial jobs upon arrival abroad. Ms. Mwanje advised students to stay committed to their studies and, upon completion, pursue other non-academic endeavors if they so desire.

The Guild President, H.E. Vincent Lubega Nsamba expressed the Guild Leadership’s strong commitment to ensuring that international students have a comfortable stay at Makerere University. He encouraged international students to seek counselling whenever they feel distressed and emphasized the importance of talking to peers for support.

One of the female students that attended the event. Mental Health Awareness Campaign organized by the International Students Union in partnership with the Counselling and Guidance Centre, International Office and Office of the Dean of Students, 12th April 2024, Senate Conference Hall, Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda, East Africa.
One of the female students that attended the event.

One of the international student leaders, Mr. Harrison Igwe expressed enthusiasm for organizing activities that promote unity within the international student community at Makerere University. The goal of the activities, he said, is to enhance camaraderie and strengthen support networks among international students.

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Dr. Martin Aliker – Celebrating A Life Well Lived

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Dr. Martin Aliker (2nd L) shakes hands with the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe (2nd R) at the successful conclusion of the Second Edition of the Makerere University Endowment Fund (MakEF) Run (MakRun) on Sunday 25th March 2018 as Prof. William Bazeyo (L) and Dr. Florence Nakayiwa (R) witness.

The Makerere University Council, Senate, Alumni and the entire students’ community has learnt with great sorrow of the death of your beloved head, Dr. Martin Aliker. Please accept our sincerest condolences during this trying time.

Dr. Aliker joined Makerere College then in 1948 and shortly thereafter received a scholarship to join Northwestern University, Illinois where he earned a Bachelor of Political Science. Being an ardent student, he also earned a Fulbright Fellowship at Northwestern University, and graduated with a Doctor of Dental Surgery, later becoming a Fellow of the Royal College of Dental Surgeons of the United Kingdom.

Dr. Aliker has throughout his long and well-lived life projected an enviable brand, reflective of a professional and hardworking gentleman who has excelled in all walks of life as a distinguished alumnus, scholar, influential business leader, entrepreneurial mentor, and one of Uganda’s and indeed Africa’s and the Commonwealth’s leading senior citizens.

The name Dr. Martin Aliker has stood the test of time as one attributable to dedicated service with impeccable integrity, tested and proven business acumen, making him a distinguished source of inspiration to both the young and old. It was therefore with great pride that Makerere University on 17th July 2014 appointed him as the Chairperson of the pioneer Board of Trustees in charge of the Makerere University Endowment Fund (MakEF).

Under his stewardship, the Inaugural Board had at the end of their term in 2019 grown MakEF’s onshore fund from nothing in 2014 to UGX 1.5 Billion, while the offshore fund was valued at 1.5 Million GBP.

We remain forever thankful to God for the gift of Dr. Martin Aliker’s inspirational life and pray that the good Lord will comfort you his beloved and rest his soul in eternal peace.

Umar Kakumba (PhD)
AG. VICE CHANCELLOR

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Prof. Justin Epelu-Opio, Our Longest Serving DVC Rests

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It is with great sorrow, that the Makerere University Council, Senate, Alumni and the entire students’ community has learnt of the death of Prof. Justin Epelu-Opio.

Our heartfelt consideration goes out to the family upon the loss of a loving Father, Grandfather, Mentor, Son and dear friend. Please accept our sincere condolences. We commit you to God our Father, who alone knows the plans He has for each and every one of us.

Prof. Epelu-Opio was our longest-serving Deputy Vice Chancellor (1993 – 2004), and the last to serve in that position before the Universities and Other Tertiary Institutions Act enacted the two positions of Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic Affairs) and Deputy Vice Chancellor (Finance and Administration). He was not only a great administrator, but also a great academic who selflessly contributed to Makerere University’s transformation. He served humanity with a lot of dedication and touched many lives in Uganda and beyond.

On 16th February 1973, Epelu-Opio took up his appointment as Lecturer in the Department of Veterinary Anatomy, in the then Faculty of Veterinary Medicine. He embarked on his PhD in Veterinary Anatomy the same year and completed it in 1976. Prior to that, he had completed his Bachelor of Science in Veterinary Medicine (1967 – 1971) and Master of Science in Veterinary Anatomy (1971 – 1973) both from the University of Nairobi.

Prof. Epelu-Opio was an ardent student who during his undergraduate studies at the University of Nairobi served as Research Assistant to Prof. RR Hofmann and Prof. Frederick Ian Bantubano Kayanja. He carried on this passion into his graduate studies, where he served as Temporary Technician and Demonstrator to undergraduate students in the Department of Veterinary Anatomy at the University of Nairobi.

Shortly after completing his PhD, in 1977 he took up the role of Senior Scientific Officer with the Animal Productivity Research Unit (APRU) of the National Committee for Scientific Research (NCSR) in Lusaka, Zambia, until 1982.

Upon his return, he was appointed Senior Lecturer in the then Department of Veterinary Anatomy, a position he held until 1984 when he was appointed to the rank of Associate Professor in the same Department.

In 1985, he was sponsored by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) for a four-month course in Animal Reproduction at the College of Veterinary Medicine, Uppsala University, Sweden, with emphasis on Radioimmunoassay techniques for assessing reproductive performance. That same year, he was appointed Head, Department of Veterinary Anatomy, a position he held until 1990.

During his time as Head of Department, in 1989 Prof. Epelu-Opio was appointed to the rank of Professor. In 1993, he was appointed Deputy-Vice Chancellor, a position he held until he attained the mandatory retirement age of 60 in 2004. He presided over this office during the delicate time when Makerere transitioned from admitting strictly Government-sponsored students to accepting privately-sponsored students. We are grateful that this worked out well and under his supervision, many deserving Ugandans gained access to quality University education.

Beyond the gates of Makerere, Prof. Epelu-Opio was a respected Statesman and elder, whose work as the pioneer Chairman of the Presidential Commission for Teso contributed to the restoration of peace in the sub-region. We are grateful that as a prolific writer, he documented his efforts in; Teso War 1986-1992: Causes and Consequences, a book published by Fountain Publishers.

We therefore stand with the Epelu-Opio family, friends, the Uganda Veterinary Association and all those whose lives he touched upon the loss of this great man. We are nevertheless comforted by the fact that this gallant alumnus did not hide his candle under the covers but lit so many other candles, which will continue to shine bright and perpetuate his legacy.

We remain forever thankful to God for the gift of Prof. Justin Epelu-Opio’s life and pray that the good Lord will rest his soul in eternal peace.

Umar Kakumba (PhD)
AG. VICE CHANCELLOR

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