Loyal to government or allegiances to “rebels”: Confusion and controversy over the fate of Upper Nile Students’ Union in Uganda

By Gai James Kai

October 10, 2014 (SSNA) — Just hours after a group of “not-particularly-popular-or-influential;” greater Uppernile Students’ Union in Uganda leadership announced that they have switches allegiance to “rebels,” under the commands of able and charismatic leader, Dr. Riek Machar, drama emerged when a radical group lead by the Union Vice President, Jacob Kuerwuel Yang sent a shocking press release, published by Nyamelepedia news site; denouncing the statement made by H.E, the President of the Union, Tharnyang in Sudan-tribune popular news that claimed an allegiances to the SPML – IO  and term it as “reckless statement by one man’s decision”

Personally I have seen a lot of criticism from members in many corners in Kampala and social media leading up to the poor team-work between the President and his deputy right from the day one. I resisted the temptation to comment until now since I hadn’t yet seen the alleged power wrangle between the two gentlemen, and though the early footage and previews seemed to discount these charges as wildly reactionary and having little to do with the actual goal and objective of the Union, I wanted to be sure I hadn’t been taken by my own anticipation and the formidable powers of Union’s leadership.

Now that I have seen it, I believe it’s even more important to confront these accusations head on, because not only are they way off base, they distract from the union’s true message and may actually be detrimental to the promotion of peace, unity and cooperation among students. Anyone who supports the depiction of disunity or perhaps taking his selfish interests over the reality, not to mention the negative representation of sorrel bonds, ought to be championing tribalism within the union and its leadership.

It’s true that the Union leadership, most especially the President and his deputy have a princess dilemma; in their way of managing the union’s affairs. The member’s quests driven phenomenon are extremely popular and lucrative, yet its detractors are becoming increasingly vocal and demanding glories instead. I personally tied to stem the tide of these power fighters and I am here to tell you it’s a constant struggle. The Vice President’s response to the backlash has been so rationale. At the same time, the President promoting the resurgence of “the little mermaid,” with his archaic message of “changes yourself for your men”. And then that progress was undermined with infamous slimmed-down, glommed –up redesign by the two wranglers (the President and his deputy).

Without going into too many spoilers, let me just say that these power wranglers’ climax doesn’t involve a man coming to rescue of a starry-eyed disputes. The misunderstandings at the center of Uppernile Students’ Union in Uganda leadership are defined by their unique upbringing and estranged relationship to one another, not by the men in their lives. They have fully fleshed out characters with a wide spectrum of poor leadership qualities including anger, frustration, bravery, impersonal and tribalism. The stakes couldn’t be higher for them though.

That said, there is no getting around the fact that those members who have been hoping for change in April this year are disappointed by power wrangle between the President of the Union, Tharnyang and his deputy, Jacob Kwerwel. There is a legitimate conversation to be had what happened between these two and their companies and whether these gentlemen should even had the gut to mention the connection to either government of “rebel” but the divided Assembly couldn’t get along to discussed such a heating debate. Consequently, we have seen both declaration and denouncement between hours.

Let’s dispense with the notion that Uppernile Students’ Union in Uganda is anything rather than a students’ body, influenced by not base on tribes or individuals whose aims are gear toward divisionism, focusing on what they don’t know or don’t have. This Union doesn’t purport to be a faithful adaptation in case that wasn’t already obvious. The difference between its leaders shouldn’t make it crystal unclear.

And if you would be predisposed to be offended by my words, to hell! What I am writing is the truth, nothing but the truth and apparently, you could take these comments to mean that Uppernile Students’ Union in Uganda as a body is concerned with attractiveness of its heroines. In other words, keeping the character, looking the original goal set.

Finally, I have one last thing to say about, and then we move on with our live. When we get incensed that Union’s principles are too petty, too vague to be disobeyed at any given time, or look too much, aren’t we really saying that aesthetics are more worthy of concern than any other aspect of character? Doesn’t it matter more how they were written and depicted the context of the Union? To focus solely on the personal interests without considering what’s beneath the polished exterior isn’t just shallow, it’s hypocritical. The general Assembly’s decisions are more than petty faces.

Therefore, I would urge those who some of the same feisty reactions I did to keep an open mind about the confusion and controversy created by these two power hungry creatures, whose leadership failure read beyond their ages. I waited until I saw the wrangles, to see if the complaints about Tharnyang and Kuerwel were legitimate, but you don’t have to take my words for it. See it for yourself if at all you are in Uganda and make your own conclusion about these two gentlemen.

Gai James Kai is a Law student at Nkumba University – Kampala and prominent member of Greater Uppernile Students’ Union in Uganda. He can be reached through [email protected] or add him on facebook by searching for the above mentioned names.

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