MAXWELL MUWANGUZI APPOLO: Male Mabiriizi cannot block Kyagulanyi’s presidential bid, not with such weak reasons
The name Male Mabiriizi has been trending of late. This is because the renowned city lawyer is attempting to set precedent by stopping the presidential nomination of Robert Kyagulanyi on grounds that Kyagulanyi did not complete at least two years of Advanced level education before he wrote his UACE summative examinations.
While many people think that perhaps, Mr. Mabiriizi can succeed with his pursuit of what he calls justice, I am one of the few people who believe that Mabiriizi does not have a case and his submission cannot stop Robert Kyagulanyi from contesting for presidency. I want to base my argument on the following reasons.
1. According to the constitution, Robert Kyagulanyi qualifies to stand for president since he already qualified to stand for Kyadondo East Member of Parliament. Unless there is proof that proves otherwise, Kyagulanyi fully qualifies to contest for the highest political office in Uganda.
2. The Electoral Commission requires the aspiring candidate to present academic documents verified by UNEB. Mabiriizi would have a case if he was contesting the validity of Kyagulanyi’s documents in case they had not been verified, or had been forged. Mabiriizi, thus, concedes that the documents are valid. Unless Mabiriizi is going to have Kyagulanyi’s academic documents nullified, the Electoral Commission will still consider them as one of the conditions Kyagulanyi has met and as such can be nominated as a presidential candidate.
3. Mabiriizi put caveat on Kyagulanyi’s presidential nomination on ground that Kyagulanyi spent only one year in A’ level, and not a minimum of two years as UNEB currently requires. However, what Mabiriizi misses in his fact finding mission is to interrogate whether or not at the time Kyagulanyi registered for UACE examinations, skipping classes was allowed by UNEB. As far as I know, skipping classes was discouraged after UPE and USE were introduced.
To support this, I will remind you that UNEB did not stop Kyagulanyi from registering for UACE examinations even when it was evident from his O’ level academic testimonials that he was still in Senior Five. I will also remind you that Makerere University did not reject Kyagulanyi’s application for a vacancy even after presenting his documents which showed that he had studied A’ level for less than two years. This is because Makerere University knew that this was possible since skipping classes was allowed then. I will remind you that it was after 1998 that UNEB started discouraging students from skipping classes because universal education had been introduced. This means that at the time Kyagulanyi registered for UACE examinations, he was free to skip classes and this he did. What was important was to have passed O’ level with the required grades. The factor of years does not count.
3. In any case, Mabiriizi would be tasking UNEB to explain why Kyagulanyi was allowed to register for UACE examinations when his O’ level results showed that he was supposed to register for UACE examinations the following year. But just like I have said, the condition of having studied for at least two years in Advanced level to be able to register for UACE examinations was introduced after Kyagulanyi had finished his A’ level. On this, Mabiriizi would still lose.
4. Mabiriizi had also claimed that Robert Kyagulanyi had failed Mathematics at O’ level and General Paper at A’ level and as such was not competent enough to serve as president. In his view, Mabiriizi believed that General Paper and Mathematics are essential subjects that a person vying for a presidential seat must have passed.
First of all, Mabiriizi must be educated that the Elections Act does not point out a specific subject one must have passed to qualify to contest for president. The Act requires the aspirant to have passed. Robert Kyagulanyi passed and that is why Makerere University accepted to admit him.
Secondly, Mabiriizi should be reminded that many people chose a career path that their academic performance supported. Had Robert Kyagulanyi chosen to pursue Accounting as a career, Mabiriizi would be right to question his competency because one of the requirements is to have passed Mathematics.
Mabiriizi says Robert Kyagulanyi failed General Paper and, therefore, cannot articulate matters competently. I can challenge Mabiriizi to choose a politician of his choice to contest Kyagulanyi in a debate whose motion is extracted from the content taught in General Paper. I will remind you that General Paper has such content like terrorism, gender equality, education, etc. We all agree that Robert Kyagulanyi, through his inspirational music and speeches, has always articulated these matters well. There is no doubt that his failing of General Paper has not stopped him from becoming articulate on matters concerning our society.
Besides, if we are to judge people by their academic performance, Mabiriizi would make one of the worst lawyers if the results that were posted on social media actually were his. Results indicated that Mabiriizi passed with a 4th grade, the worst grade. Be reminded that Kyagulanyi who he is after passed in Division II.
Conclusively, I can rightly state that Male Mabiriizi has to make a lot of homework if he is to attempt to block Kyagulanyi’s presidential nomination. If the reasons he forwarded were the only reasons he is dwelling on to make this attempt, I can authoritatively say that he has already lost this case. What I can advise him to do is to start seeking publicity and attention in a legitimate manner. Otherwise, the manner in which he attempts to seek attention and publicity is dangerous to him as a person and his career.
Maxwell Muwanguzi Appolo
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