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NIRA recruits UCU graduate interns

By Derrick Brian Muduku

The National Identification and Registration Authority (NIRA), in a bid to quicken their citizen registration and certification activities, have recruited at least 50 graduate interns from Uganda Christian University (UCU).
Under this apprenticeship, the interns will support the digital registration of citizens, who later will be granted National Identification Cards. This is hands-on training that the University has embraced as beneficial to its students, the institution itself, and the Mukono community at large.
“We thank NIRA for allowing us to be the pioneers of this project that will cut across to other universities,” said Bridget Mugume K. Mugasira, the Director of Student Affairs at UCU,
She added that this project is UCU and NIRA’s corporate social responsibility because it is not only benefitting University students, but pupils from primary and secondary schools within Mukono municipality.”
NIRA camped at the UCU old football pitch on Monday, 03 December, to start their activities. Besides registration for National Identification cards (ID), they are also offering: replacement of lost IDs, birth certificates, checking status quo of IDs pending issuance, sensitization on the services of NIRA, etc.
This will go on for the next two weeks, after which, a major launch of the project will happen, and see it spread to other universities as well.

A student gets her finger prints scanned during the exercise. Photo/ Samuel Tatambuka


Gilbert Kadilo, the NIRA Manager of Public Relations and Corporate Affairs noted that while the graduate interns are helping to cover a human resource gap, they will also learn valuable skills.
“We decided to identify these students, train them and engage them to do the work. We do not have enough resources readily available to do all this work on our own,” he said.
Kadilo emphasised the importance of a National ID to Ugandan youth in regard with the current times.
“There are young Ugandans who have never registered for an ID. We are here to ensure that they get their cards because they need them,” he said.
He also commended UCU for accepting to host the activity, given the ongoing serious health and security concerns.
“UCU was quick to welcome the initiative, which I believe is part of their character and we appreciate it,” said Kadilo.
Over 150 students applied for the opportunity, but only 50 were selected based on geographical proximity to the registration center, academic performance and flexibility among others.

‘Canons’ beat ‘Blazers’ to win inaugural Invite-tournament

By Ian Asabo

The UCU Canons defeated the Namugongo Blazers, 61-58, in a closely contested final, to win the first “Invite” basketball tournament held at the YMCA court in Wandegeya. The winner, ‘Canons’ walked away with the sum of Shs 2m while the runner-up took home the sum of Shs 1.5m.
Bbaale Fayed was voted MVP of the tournament, after a unanimous verdict by the panel of judges highlighting his impressive basketball skills showcased during the game.
Head Coach Nicholas Natuhereza was glad that his team won the tournament and is excited for what the team can achieve the following year. “Glad we were the last team standing. All the hard work paid off. We are looking forward to what we can do next year” he says.
The team was able to maintain a 100% percent record in the tournament by winning all their games against tricky opponents including the Falcons and the UPDF Tomahawks.
Team captain Titus Lual praised the resilience of his team to be able to bounce back and win the final since they were behind at halftime.
“I am proud of the way we showed our champion instinct after we were down at the half. We showed character and I am proud of the guys that we were able to come back and win the game,” he says.
He also singled out praise for the MVP Bbaale Fayed and credited his victory to the hard work that he puts in on a daily basis.“ He is the deserved winner of the award. This is proof that when you work hard, you are always rewarded regardless,” he continues.
One UCU Canons fan stated that the continued investment in the sports sector at Uganda Christian University (UCU) is one of the main reasons why the team is excelling every time they step on the court. “The investment in the sports team administration and good coaching set up will make the team continue to succeed every time they step on the court, case in point is redesigning of the courts,” says Timothy Owor.
Six teams which included: Takan Lokeris, UCU Canons, Betway Power, Falcons participated in the inaugural tournament, which the sponsors having a view of making it an annual tournament.
Betway Power general manager Allan Musoke hopes for more tournaments as well as having some games on Friday evenings.
“We are hoping that as the tournaments continue. We can also have Friday night games so that we can expand the tourney. It will however remain invitational and we will allow teams to explore other playing options,” said Musoke.
The tournament was organized by NBL club Betway Power alongside sponsors like Rwenzori and Club Pilsner was in memory of those who had an impact on the game, but are now passed to glory.

Dr. Kitayimbwa urges First-year students to embrace Godliness while at UCU

By Derrick Muduku

The Deputy Vice-Chancellor Academic Affairs, Rev. Dr. John Kitayimbwa has called on the First-year university (UCU) to live according to God’s will as they start their educational journey. 

Dr. John Kitayimbwa made the remarks during the induction ceremony of the first-year students that happened on Thursday, 23 November 2021. The students came from the Faculties/ Schools of Medicine, Dentistry and Surgery, and Law. With the aid of their Deans, the students took their oaths with Dr. John Kitayimbwa presiding over the process. 

Dr. Kitayimbwa highlighted that UCU is Christ-centered and will continue to thrive in that aspect. “Welcome to UCU, where we shamelessly start lectures with prayer. That will not change. We are proud of it and will always uphold It,” he said. He invited the new students to embrace Christian living and seek communion with Jesus Christ as the LORD and savior of their lives.

New students, during the induction ceremony.

He further assured the students that they will excel at the university if they work hard. “There are no miracles. Miracles are for young children. You have to strive to earn what you deserve,” he said. 

Dr. Godwin Awio, the Director of the Kampala Campus expressed his delight at receiving the new students. “We are ready to equip these students with the necessary skills to go out there and influence the world in a positive way,” he said. 

Suzan Nasaga, a first-year student pursuing Bachelors’s in Dental Surgery says she is enjoying the conducive environment at the Kampala Campus.

“Initially, I wanted to go to the Main Campus but I don’t regret coming here, this place is a breath of fresh air,” she said. She is excited about the bright future she hopes UCU is paving for her. “By the time I finish studying here, I am sure that I shall be able to practice dentistry and reap from it,” she added.

The induction ceremony at Uganda Christian University is a re-occurring event where new students at the Campus take an oath and are introduced to the values and guiding principles prescribed by the institution. 

Sima, Sabiti to lead UCU’s Guild Parliament

By Ivan Tsebeni

After a hotly contested race, Sima Liisa has been enthroned Uganda Christian University’s (UCU) Guild Speaker, with Aman Sabiti as her Deputy.  Sima polled 10 votes beating her closest rival Abigail Dawn Ampumuza who scored a total number of 8 votes. This happened in the rerun after the first poll ended in a draw where both candidates garnered 7, with Mark Kezaala trailing with 5 votes.

The elections were presided over by the outgoing Guild Speaker of the 23rd Parliament, Calvin Olupot Bahati. The electorates were the newly elected Guild Members of Parliament.

The first parliamentary session was held at Internation Christian Medical Institute (ICMI) hall opposite the Guild Canteen, at the UCU main campus, shortly after the swearing-in ceremony.

The new parliamentary bosses, Sima and Sabiti were thereafter sworn in and handed over instruments of power including the guild constitution, rules of procedure, and regalia.

“The fact that I won, there is no doubt, all people voted for me and I am ready to work with all of them. The expectations are high, fears and uncertainties exist but together we should build friendship, mend the bridges and work together, ” Sima said after assuming office.

The deputy-speaker elect,  Mr. Sabiti acknowledged the need to ensure the independence of the parliament as one arm of the government saying it is what he will focus on during his tenure.

“I am willing to serve the people. I want to instill the aspect of independence and working within the guild constitution in order to reap the maxim harvest,” Sabiti said in an interview.

This was the first seating of the 24th Guild government after it was voted in on November 24, 2021. It is the first-ever activity that followed the swearing-in that happened earlier in the day at Nkoyoyo Hall. During this, the congregation witnessed the new Guild President Ms. Racheal Mirembe Sserwadda and her officials take the oath.

It should be recalled that Sserwadda is the third female Guild President after Blessed Murungi in 2014 and Prisca Amongin in 2016. Sserwadda will officially receive instruments of power on December 18.

The guild Parliament is expected to sit and approve new Guild ministers who by press time had not been identified by Guild President.

UCU students graduate from UN Campus programme


At least 15 students of Uganda Christian University (UCU) have graduated from Millenium Fellowship, a semester-long Leadership Programme that advances the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Majority of the graduates, at the virtual graduation ceremony held on Wednesday, 17 November 2021, were female.
They will be issued Certificates, having fulfilled all the requirements of the online mentorship program to which they enrolled in August 2021, alongside thousands of University students all over the world. Some of the Ugandan institutions involved were Makerere, Gulu, Ndejje Universities, among others.
During the course of four months, the participants (Class of 2021) learned an array of skills including Leadership, project management, social networking, among others. The UCU Campus Director of Millennium Fellowship, Peter Kabuye, a fourth-year student pursuing Bachelor of Dental Surgery says the Fellowship has played a pivotal role in expanding his team’s professional network, including himself.

“I and my colleagues have been given an opportunity to network with students from various campuses of UCU and universities worldwide, he said,” adding “ I was able to meet like-minded people that have visions and beliefs similar to mine.”
Kabuye urges other students from UCU to enroll for the virtually-oriented fellowship whose application window is open for the Year 2022.” Millenium Fellowship is “ an opportunity to network with respected worldwide leaders of all walks of life,” he argues.
On her part, Syndia Chemutai, a fourth-year student of Bachelor of Laws is excited to be contributing to the SDGs, having been equipped through the Fellowship.
Due to various challenges, including poor internet connectivity, some five students did not graduate. They had to have attended all Zoom sessions held during the nearly four-month-long Fellowship.
The Millennium Campus Network (MCN) is a Boston-based, global Not-for-profit in Partnership with the UN Academic Impact. Each year it selects 20 students from different University campuses to develop projects that advance the 17 UN SDGs.

UCU welcomes students for in-person studies

By Joseph Lagen
For the first time in five months, Uganda Christian University (UCU) welcomed students on its campuses for in-person learning. The development follows a September directive by Uganda President Yoweri Museveni, allowing universities to commence physical teaching after education institutions were shut in June 2021, after a second wave of Covid-19.

According to an October 28 letter to all students and staff of UCU, Vice-Chancellor Assoc. Prof. Aaron Mushengyezi said freshly admitted first-year students who joined in September would report on November 1 for additional orientation sessions. Mushengyezi said the first-year students would then migrate to blended learning – online and in-person – starting December 4 before they sit for their exams from January 3 to 17, 2022.

Two freshman girls drag suitcases through the main gate to check into university halls of residence. Courtesy photo.
Two freshman girls drag suitcases through the main gate to check into university halls of residence. Courtesy photo.

“Continuing students who have been studying virtually will report on November 8, 2021, for face-to-face classes in a phased manner,” Mushengyezi wrote, noting that they will then take their examinations from December 4 to 17, 2021. 

UCU Communications Manager Frank Obonyo said the institution is not allowing all the continuing students at once because of “escorting potential health risk.” 

“We prioritized first years – the rest will have blended studies,” he said.

Museveni directed all education institutions to close, starting June 7, to reduce concentration centers that the government argued were increasing infection rates of the pandemic. At the time, the Covid-19 cases in the country had gone up by 137%. It was the second time that education institutions were closed in Uganda as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. 

In March 2020, Uganda closed all schools to reduce the chances of Covid-19 infection on learners. In October 2020, final-year students were allowed back to school for in-person learning as they prepared to take examinations. The rest of the classes, with the exception of lower primary, were allowed back to school for in-person learning starting March 2021. However, that excitement was cut short by a surge in the Covid-19 infection rate, necessitating the closing of schools in Uganda, again after only three months of opening. 

On June 18, 2021, the Ugandan government imposed a total lockdown on movement, with the Covid-19 positivity rate at 17% at the time. However, the lockdown was lifted at the end of July 2021, with many of the sectors of the economy being opened for operations. For the sectors that are still closed, such as the entertainment industry and bars, Museveni said in a televised address on October 28 that they will be opened fully in January 2022, whether people go for Covid-19 vaccinations or not.

According to the President, by the end of December 2021, the country will have received 23 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines of two per person for more than 12 million people, including 4.8 million frontline workers.

As UCU welcomes its staff and students for in-person learning, the institution has set up its university health facility, the Allan Galpin Health Centre, for vaccinations. The condition for in-person learning, according to Government, is that all institution staff and students above 18 years should be vaccinated. 

Despite the two lockdowns – of 2020 and 2021 – on education institutions, UCU continued with online learning. At UCU’s 22nd graduation ceremony held on October 22, Uganda’s First Lady and Education Minister Janet Museveni congratulated the institution for its “robust online education programme” and encouraged the university to share best practices with other institutions. 

At a recent virtual dialogue to discuss the impact of Covid-19 on academic institutions, Mushengyezi said UCU had invested in infrastructure of electronic learning and, therefore, “has something to share with other institutions.” 

Due to the robust online operations infrastructure, Obonyo said UCU was able to conduct online semesters, plus other virtual activities, such as virtual guild elections, conferences, and pre-entry exams for students for courses in law, medicine, and dentistry. 

The university has locally developed two online applications to supplement the use of tutoring e-services in its operations. These are the Alpha MIS for student registration and the E-Chagua, which the university uses during virtual elections. 

Among some of its other virtual activities, from October 14-16, the UCU Faculty of Journalism, Media and Communication (FJMC) hosted the 10th Annual East African Communication Association Conference. 

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Sserwada or Bravo: Who will win the Presidency?

By Brian Muduku Derrick 

With the Guild elections edging closer, the political atmosphere at Uganda Christian University is intensifying with each passing day. Particularly, the fight for Guild President is steep as it has shaped into a battle between a lady and a gentleman.

Mirembe Racheal Sserwadda is vying for Guild Presidency

Mirembe Racheal Sserwadda

She is in her third year pursuing a Bachelor of Law at UCU.  She has a five-point programme by which she hopes to serve students.  From her telling, it will cover: The education system, students’ health, security, accountability within the Guild Government and formidable leadership.”

Sserwadda says that she wants to leave a legacy at the university.” My love to leave a legacy and impact positively on people in the community made me come out and run for this office.” she said. 

Lesson learnt so far: I have had to exercise emotional intelligence as some people are not as welcoming, ” she says. 

Main challenge so far:  The people in the other camp keep shaking tables with unnecessary accusations. Also, trust issues from some people within my camp is a problem,” she says. 

Plan-B: In case she loses, Sserwadda intends to collaborate with the ruling guild government in order to serve the students’ interests. 

Academic background: Sserwadda went to Hormisdallen Primary School and then later to Kings College Budo for her Secondary school education. 

Ayebare Phillip Bravo

Ayebare Phillip Bravo is a student in his third year pursuing a Bachelor of Business Administration. He says he intends to continue the legacy left behind by the outgoing guild government. “I looked at the manifesto of Mr Amponda who is the Current Guild President and borrowed some ideas from there,” he says. 

Motivation: My passion to lead and to help others made me stand for this post. 

Ayebare Phillip Bravo is vying for Guild Presidency

Lessons: Ayebare says that he has learnt to relate with people during the campaigns.” One must have a vision. Being on good terms with the community is essential so that they can be helped,” he said. 

He adds that the opposing team has given him some challenges.” They have spread fake rumours about me, but that will not derail me. I shall continue working,” he said. 

Plan-B: Should he lose, Ayebare intends to carry on with life as a student at the university while doing what he can to support the leadership.

Academic background: He went to Greenhill Academy for Primary and later proceeded to Naalya Senior Secondary School.

UCU Basketball bags gold at Afro-Varsity games

By Ian Asabo

The UCU Canons and Lady Canons won gold medals at the FISU Afro Varsity 3×3 games held at the United States International University in Nairobi, on Sunday. The Canons beat Ndejje University 21-8 in the final game.

“It was a really good experience for us despite the travel issues, but we went and proved that we are the best side and just can’t wait to represent Africa next fall”, said Canons captain Titus Luwal, in appreciation of the Teams’ efforts.

UCU emerged victorious in all its six matches, securing a ticket to the FISU University 3×3 World Cup games in Xiamen, China, from 20th to 23rd October 2022.

The Lady Canons were represented by Rose Akon, Priscilla Abbey, Shakirah Nanvubya and Nandutu Martha. They defeated ISEG of Senegal (20-12) in the final, winning the gold averaging 16.7 points.

Lady Canons player (blue) in action. Courtesy photo.

The Men’s team, Canons, were represented by Titus Luwal, David Deng Kongor, Fayed Bbaale and Rodgers Dauna. They defeated Ugandan counterparts and defending champions Ndejje University in the final, with a score of 21-8, averaging 20.3 points.

Selected scores

Men’s category

  • Uganda Christian University 21:2 University of Rwanda
  • Uganda Christian University 21:11 University of Zambia ( semi finals)
  • Uganda Christian University 21: 8 Ndejje University ( final)

Women’s Category

  • Uganda Christian University 17:10 United States International University Africa.
  • Uganda Christian University 16: 7 Makerere University ( semi finals)
  • Uganda Christian University 20:12 Superior d’ Entrepreneurship et de Gestion Senegal.

New Honors College president wants student-to-student mentorships

By Gloria Katya and Ivan Tsebeni
Mecca Akello is the new president of Uganda Christian University’s (UCU) Honors College, which is a leadership training program that mentors and trains students with life skills, preparing them for survival in the competitive world.

Akello, a student of Bachelor of Arts with Education, beat two other contenders in the elections that were held virtually on September 23. Akello garnered 29 votes, beating her closest challenger, Samantha Atuhaire, who polled 25 votes.

“It was a tough race, but I’m glad I won,” Akello said, attributing her success to God. 

Born in the northern Uganda district of Kole to Benson Ongom and Grace Asio, Akello is the last of four siblings. She is no stranger to leadership. As early as secondary school, she was a students’ leader at Kole Secondary School.

In 2018, when Akello joined UCU, she was elected a class representative. She says that position paved the way for her to later join the university’s students’ guild government in 2020.

She believes that her most recent position as Minister of Education in the guild government will help her perform even better at her new role at the apex of leadership at the Honors College, which focuses on Christian mentorship, leadership and academic research. 

In her early days as president for UCU’s group of honors students, Akello wants to put in place a student-to-student program to help guide and mentor new students. 

“This will reduce the number of students who drop out of the college since the mentors will have been through the same struggles,” said Akello, who joined the Honors College in 2019 in her second year at UCU.  She also pledges to address the issue of tuition which she said is the biggest reason for student dropout.

“When I joined the college, I did not really know much, I was scared, I joined it with the intention of keeping the good academic grades,” she says, adding that the college has offered her more than she expected.

To join the Honors College, applicants must have at least a 4.0 Cumulative Grade-Point Average (CGPA) out of 5.0. The college offers talented students the opportunity to tap on their mettle through an extra certificate-program, alongside the regular bachelor’s degree course.

The college, which is the brainchild of Prof. Stephen Noll, UCU’s first Vice Chancellor, offers a multidisciplinary approach to scientific and social issues, which helps to enrich students’ projects and research.

Pamela Tumwebaze, the head of the Honors College, says that Akello is one of the students who recently had a wonderful research project. 

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Covid-19: Guild leaders sacrifice allowance to feed students stuck in hostels

By Ivan Tsebeni

When the 23rd Guild Government took over leadership last year, they vowed to ‘Build the Bridge to the New Normal’ and that is exactly what they have done.
Out of their July and August 2021 guild allowances, they have contributed over 980,000 shillings to buy food stuff for students who remained in hostels due to the lockdown. Some of the students are from neighbouring countries.
“We agreed to sacrifice these allowances to feed our colleagues who remained in hostels due to unavoidable circumstances,” said Guild President Kenneth Agaba Amponda.
The guild Officials developed a Google list which they shared with students to ensure transparency in their selection.
“The only way we could identify the real affected students was through a Google list which we believe reached almost all the students,” Amponda said.
The food assortments were handed over to students on Saturday, September 4 at the Guild Offices.
According to the Guild Speaker, Calvin Olupot Bahati, they used the money to buy food items such as: rice, sugar, beans, posho, spaghetti, salt and cakes.
He added that much as the items donated may seem a drop in the ocean, the act had a bigger positive impact.
The Director of Students Affairs, Bridget M. Mugume, thanked the student leaders for showing a kind gesture to their colleagues.
A Second Year Bachelor of Social Work and Social Administration student, Anna Bonsuk, said that she could not travel back to her home country, South Sudan.
“I’m happy that the guild has thought about us during these hard times. Being in a foreign land amidst the lockdown is the worst experience one can ever dream of,” Bonsuk said.