KAMPALA, Uganda: Sunday 27th August 2017 was like no other day at Old Kampala Senior Secondary School. The Old students converged at their former school for the much awaited Annual General Meeting of the Old Kampala Old Students Association.
At the meeting, their maverick chairman Ronald Egesa was resoundingly re-elected to steer the association forward, winning over 72% of the vote. Over 150 old students of various generations attended the meeting, ranging from very senior citizens to the recent graduates of the school.
Among the old students in attendance was top lawyer and Masaka District LC 5 Chairman Jude Mbabaali, Mr. Byakusaaga Bisobye, the head of policy and planning at the Ministry of Justice and Mr. Mukasa Martin, the former Headteacher of the school that was replaced by Mrs. Nsubuga Aziida. There was a heavy security deployment at the school with tens of uniformed police officers patrolling the premises of the school.
The school has been in the press for some time now owing to attempts to grab its land by some ‘investors’ working closely with the school administration. The land transactions sparked off a protracted battle between the then Headteacher, Aziida Ntegana Nsubuga, the Board of Governors, some Ministry of Education officials on the one hand and the Old Students Association (OKOSA) on the other hand.
The battle climaxed in the Egesa-led old students association tactfully forcing the Ministry of Education and Sports to remove Aziida Ntegana Nsubuga from the headship of the school in early July this year. Egesa’s team also forced the Ministry of Education to dissolve the Board of Governors and on 26th June, the Minister of Education and Sports appointed Ms. Namuddu Juliet Nambi the Director of Education & Social Services at KCCA as caretaker manager of the school for six months, as the Board of Governors is reconstituted, in accordance with the Education Act 2008.
One staff member informed The Investigator that Aziida vowed to ‘exit like Idi Amin’ and indeed went down fighting. She had a small clique of close confidantes among the staff that she used to indoctrinate students and made them falsely believe that she was the one fighting the land grabbers.
According to Egesa, the indoctrination of the students was allegedly supplemented by suspicious conduct of some rogue elements within the police of Old Kampala who mismanaged the students’ show of solidarity with Aziida on 14th July and it turned into a riot or violent strike that resulted in the destruction of property and shooting of one student in the leg.
Having failed to have the transfer rescinded through the strike, Aziida vowed that she would not go down alone. She reportedly wanted to see Egesa and his executive voted out of office. She got the backing of the land dealers that had wanted to grab the school land and they sponsored a group of young old students to contest for leadership posts in OKOSA in order to remove Egesa and his team from the Executive Committee of the old students Association.
The group of young turks supposedly sponsored by Aziida fronted Mubiru James Woods for the post of chairman of OKOSA. Mubiru James is an upcoming comedian/entertainer or ‘clown’ within the Pentecostal community who usually imitates renowned preachers and evangelists such as Joel Osteen.
At the AGM on Sunday, Mubiru’s group did everything possible to mobilize their fellow young turks in order to dislodge Egesa’s team but it was evident from the word go that it was an uphill task because of the stellar performance and massive support that Egesa enjoys amongst the old students’ community and other stakeholders.
The Opening remarks by the current Headteacher, James Mulomi did not help anybody with links to Aziida. He pointed out the broken systems of management that he inherited at the school, the unorthodox reporting structures and he promised to work with the alumni and other stakeholders to put the school back on track.
Mulomi expressed the need to have the old students organise a trip to Rwanda and visit one of their own, President Kagame and congratulate him on winning the elections and also seek his support to the school. Mulomi’s remarks vindicated Egesa’s team and made it more difficult for team Mubiru.
Egesa’s team had done their homework and set the bar so high for anyone wishing to contest for leadership of the Association. They furnished all the attendees of the meeting with copies of the Audited Financial statements of the Association, Chairman’s report and the proposed budget.
The Chairman’s report was awash with evidence of mismanagement of the school by the former Headteacher Aziida Nsubuga and had letters from PPDA and the decision of the PPDA Appeals tribunal on the now quashed land transactions annexed.
When Egesa presented his report to the members, he was cheered in appreciation of the efforts of his team in setting a precedent for other alumni associations to follow. Egesa noted that they are now set to move into the medium term of their strategic plan, in which they are going to concentrate on joint development projects with the school.
This, he said, followed the successful accomplishment of the short term goals of restoring vibrancy in the Association that saw it become the most vibrant alumni association in the country. At various times in the meeting, Mubiru’s group tried to disrupt proceedings by interrupting speakers with ‘points of order’, but they were isolated voices and some of their members who became unruly were escorted out of the meeting hall and only returned after cooling down.
The climax and highlight of the meeting was the election of a new Executive Committee (Directors). Counsel Jude Mbabali was elected as a returning officer for the elections. He conducted the elections without incident.
For the much coveted post of Chairperson, only two candidates contested and the incumbent Egesa obtained 72.3% of the votes against Mubiru’s 27.7%. Mubiru and some of his close associates left the meeting as soon as the returning officer announced the returns from the elections of Chairperson.
The sitting Vice Chairman, Bruhan Nassur was returned unopposed. Other members elected include; Ms Balukah Lovincer who returned as Treasurer, Buyinza Mathias Kimbugwe who returned as Publicity & Mobilisation Secretary, Mr. Sekitoleko Jacob was elevated to full General Secretary, Ms Nakitto Rebecca as Assistant General Secretary, Sam Kawula Kiyini returned as Assistant Publicity Secretary and only one committee member, Esther Mbekeka was returned alongside four other new entrants.
With a fresh mandate, Egesa’s work is cut out. He has the task of uniting the old students from the old guard who include Generals Katumba Wamala, Moses Ali, Ivan Koreta, Jim Muhwezi, Silver Kayemba, former IGP John Kisembo, Prof. Gilbert Bukenya, Prof. Ahmed Ssengendo, Mr. S.K Busulwa, Dr. Margaret Bukenya with the young turks of Mubiru’s generation for the purposes of supporting their former school and restoring it to the top.
He has also been given his trusted lieutenants in key positions on the Executive Committee and his close Associate CPA Patrick Musinguzi representing the old students on the Board of Governors, which should make his work much easier.
Egesa is a smooth operator who goes about his work with military precision and is admired for his powerful oratory, mastery of law, technology and public relations among others. The Investigator understands that Egesa’s return to the helm of OKOSA is expected to send shock waves to corrupt officials in the Ministry of Education and Sports and other Government bodies that he has ‘terrorized’ in the past with his well researched missives.
His name is dreaded at Legacy Towers where the Secondary Schools Department officials of the Ministry of Education sit. He remains an enigma to many Government departments. What is clear now, the old students of Old Kampala S.S.S are convinced that he is the man for the job!