The election campaign itself was not dissimilar to those run at UK universities, albeit a lot noisier due to the seemingly obligatory campaign trucks which, for two weeks, made early evening tours of campus blaring out popular hits while drunken supporters danced and shouted slogans at passers-by. The photos here were taken at the hustings in my hall of residence, which frustratingly was far more beauty parade than discussion of the many pressing issues affecting students at Makerere. Indeed, despite numerous enquires it was virtually impossible to separate the candidates on policy, aside from man standing on a socialist and anti-privatisation platform. Unfortunately the candidate reminded me of a young George Galloway, although to be fair this was more due to his flash brown suit than any evidence of extreme pomposity and dubious relationships with dictators.The second story to hit the headlines was the front page splash in the New Vision that female students are sexually harassing Makerere lecturers. This included the following shocking findings amongst the staff:
- 78% see inappropriately dressed women on campus (read anyone daring to flash provocative body parts such as shoulders and ankles...)
- 40% have had a suspiciously irrelevant visit to their office from a female student
and my personal favourite...
- 34% of lecturers have been subjected to winking
Although there is probably some truth in the story it is certainly a two-way issue at campus. For every student behaving seductively in order to improve her grades there are lecturers offering marks in exchange for inappropriate liaisons. President Museveni describes these as 'sexually transmitted grades', an unfortunate phenomenon in Uganda which I suspect is more widespread in universities worldwide than academics care to admit.