Exclusive Interview With Makerere’s Unsung Activist Brigadier Prosper Ahabwe Julian Who is Aspiring For Guild Presidency Under NUP Ticket Ahead Of July Polls
Djcampus: Briefly talk about yourself!
Prosper Ahabwe:I am Prosper Ahabwe Julian (Brigadier as some people prefer to call me), a Mukiga-Langi from Mitooma District aged 23, and a third year student at School of Law.
I studied from Plus Two High School Bushenyi where I completed my A-level, with HEL as my combination.
I joined Campus in 2019 at a time when the 15% tuition increment was being implemented. Many of the students had been suspended because of opposing the policy, notable Gen. Obed Derrick who spent over a year in suspension. Knowing all the risks, I decided to fight the policy. Our first struggle was to make sure that the Commander of the Fees Must Fall war Gen. Obed is reinstated. We piled pressure on Nawangwe and Obed was reinstated.
In October 2019, I led my fellow students to petition parliament over the 15% tuition increment policy, and joined fellow students in the Fees Must Fall strike. The operation in parliament was largely a success until Dictator M7 called in the NRM caucus, and resolved the issue against the people of Uganda.
From then I started conducting ideological clinics, on civil resistance and revolutionary movements, including forming our famous NEW ERA MOVEMENT.
I kept on in the frontlines of the struggle and in October 2020, following the invasion of the Military on NUP headquarters, I joined with a few activists to protest against police brutality. I was arrested and incarcerated in Kitalya for 3 weeks but later released on bail.
I later served in the Makerere Government Students Association where we constantly advocated for early pay of allowances, and increasing the allowances.
I have kept in constant service of the students’ cause and now I offer myself to stand as Guild President.
Djcampus: What inspired me to join leadership?
Prosper Ahabwe: Since 2019 when I was in first year, I had an urge to serve the students’ cause and took different paths. At first, I wanted to operate outside the guild as a student leader, but because of the unreliability of some people in the previous guild governments, I decided to come up and take up the role of leading the gallant intellectuals in our pursuit for excellence and to overcome all forms of oppression and exclusion.
Djcampus: In case you are elected in July, what are you going to do for students?
Prosper Ahabwe: My manifesto is based on the Six Step of Change Agenda, which is meant to address issues of tuition payment challenges,
Call for the renovation Halls of Residence and Increase in Government student Allowances, Creation of a strong website for publication Undergraduate Research Dissertations and Projects, fixing the Perennial Missing marks Challenge, and ensuring a Consultative Based Leadership
I also plan on having an Extensive and Comprehensive External Policy to increase student participation in national matters, and create a bond between Makerere Students, and those from other universities.
Djcampus: Makerere has been facing a problem of sex for marks, and past governments have failed to address this problem. How are you going to kick out the vice out of this mighty University?
Prosper Ahabwe: It is a shame that in the 21st Century, where we are pushing for gender equality, that vice is here at the epitome of knowledge. The major cause of sex-for-marks, is the godly power that lecturers are given. The lecturers have a right to decide who has marks and who doesn’t. Thus lecturers take advantage of the desperate students. However, our administration will work to ensure a strong legal frame work in the Senate is passed ensuring transparency in marking, and marks allocation. We shall also protect victims and rise against the culprits.
Djcampus: Students have been facing the security problem. And the past gov’ts have not addressed it , so how are you going to address it just incase you are elected as the 88th Guild President!
Prosper Ahabwe: Security forces have always come to Makerere University to steal, kill and destroy. In 2019, Military police invaded Lumumba and Marystuart, and subjected the students to corporal punishments. A few months go a one Sebuganda has his arm injured permanently by a teargas grenade.
I will engage with the security agencies and parliament to stop the use of live ammunitions in institutions of learning, even if it means taking to the streets. We can not tolerate a regime of murderers and torturers.
Djcampus : This year, almost 200 students did not graduate because of marks issues the statement that was mentioned by the Vice Chancellor during the 72nd Makerere’s graduation, how are you going to make sure isuse of marks is addressed in time, Then how will make sure that education is functional and fundamental to the students!
Prosper Ahabwe: The issue of missing marks also stems from lack of clear punitive sanctions against lecturers who mishandle examination papers. Sadly none of the previous governments has staged efforts to sort this issue out.
In my government, I will call for senate rules which punish lecturers who mishandle marks, but also ensure fairness and transparency.
Djcampus : Students have been facing a problem of tuition fee. As a guild president, how are you going to make sure that the students are not left behind. The Shamim’s government tried with to launch the students trust fund but we didn’t see its impact.
Propser Ahabwe : on my Six Steps of Chnge Agenda, I will move for a policy whereby a student who has paid 60% of the tuition can be allowed to sit exams. I will move it council and lobby for it the way I lobbied for the Tuition Increment petition in parliament. And by hook or crook, this policy must be adopted.
Of course the Guild Tuition fund must also be boosted by mobilizing and fundraising for it.
Djcampus : Government allowances normally tend to be few and they delay once in a while, How are you going to follow it up that student get their share in time ?
Propser Ahabwe : The issue of government students need more than just engagement and petitions. It requires civil disobedience and sometimes weeeeweee.
Djcampus : We have heard that some courses were phased out, which has affected some people to folow up their academic tend . How are going to ensure that these courses are installed back !
Prosper Ahabwe: The dictator M7 is always in the habit of blaming his own misdeeds on Art subjects. A couple of years back, he instructed Makerere to start phasing out Art courses. It should be noted that the tyrant himself studied an Art course. It is therefore uncouth of him to denounce the programs as useless. We shall defeat this dictator and secure our academic freedom. No one can take away the academic freedom of Ugandans.
Djcampus : The issue of renovation of Halls of residence has not been done in the last decades. How are you going to ensure that infrastructural development is worked upon ?
Prosper Ahabwe: Like the government student allowances, more than just petitions and discussions is required. But we shall lobby the budget committee of parliament to increase funds for Makerere University, especially for renovation. And when that fails, wee wee is the answer.
Djcampus : Incase you are elected as the NUP flag bearer, how are you going to make sure that NUP is promoted !
Prosper Ahabwe: NUP is a national party which has the capacity to extend to all parts of Uganda. However, dictator M7 and his son labelled it a tribal party which is not true. I now come as a challenge to prove them wrong. We are the National Unity platform and we shall prove that we stand for National Unity. Besides, the people power Red Revolution shall be manifested amongst the students.
Djcampus : What remarks do you give to the current Guild Regime?
Propser Ahabwe: Well I can say they have tried their best, although they have left out a number of issues. Part of the matters is advancing the NUP agenda which they have not done substantially.
Djcampus : What message do you have for all Makerereans who are watching this show ?
Prosper Ahabwe: I ask all the Gallant Intellectuals to support the SIX STEPS OF CHANGE agenda, such that as we begin a new century, we open new doors and demystify the mysteries of the mighty hill. The SIX STEPS OF CHANGE Agenda, is the greatest Agenda that Makerere will witness in the times.