UCU student voted Speaker of Uganda’s National Youth Parliament
Originally posted at: https://www.ugandapartners.org/2021/10/ucu-student-voted-speaker-of-ugandas-national-youth-parliament/
By Dalton Mujuni
A Uganda Christian University (UCU) student has entered the annals of Ugandan history after being elected the speaker of the youth parliament in the country.
Ezra Ambasiize, a fourth-year student of Bachelor of Laws, has become the speaker of the fourth National Youth Parliament. The Parliament offers political and legislative space and serves as a creative advocacy vehicle that brings together young people in Uganda, as well as youth-focused organizations to amplify youth voices to lawmakers.
“I take this opportunity to thank God and the entire youth fraternity for entrusting me with the mandate of serving as 4th Speaker [of the] National Youth Parliament,” Ambasiize tweeted a day after his triumph. He beat off competition from two challengers, including Calvin Olupot, also a student from UCU.
Ambasiize’s election took place under the watch of the Speaker of Uganda’s legislature, Jacob Oulanyah.
The victory did not come easy for Ambasiize. He had to divide his time between class and travelling throughout the country, consulting and introducing himself to members of the
electoral college. And the campaigns were as intense as any would be.
So, why did Ambasiize choose to go through such, risking his academic performance at UCU?
“There is a big mismatch between the number of representatives of the youth at national level of policy formulation and their numbers in the country,” Ambasiize says.
He hopes to amplify the youth voices and advocate the implementation of ideas put forward by the youth, as well as use his position as a launch pad into national politics.
On the same day of his election, Ambasiize chaired the youth parliamentary sitting that passed four motions to be sent to the National Parliament for debate. The motions called on the Ugandan Government to address issues of “spiraling teenage pregnancies” and the reproductive health challenges faced by the youth.
The youth also were cognizant of the destructive effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, urging the Government to put in place post-Covid recovery measures for young people and address the challenges affecting youth in business.
The corridors of leadership are not new for the bespectacled son of Bernard and Harriet Nuwagira. At UCU, he was the Deputy Prime Minister in the university’s guild government in 2019 and the Vice President in the institution’s student leadership of 2020.
In praise of Ambasiize, UCU Vice Chancellor Prof. Aaron Mushengyezi described the student as a principled and disciplined leader who serves with integrity and diligence.
“In the previous year, he and then UCU Guild President Timothy Kadaga mobilized students to participate in the Guild Run, to raise funds for needy students,” Mushengyezi says.
In secondary school, Ambasiize was a student leader in charge of internal affairs at Mbarara High School in western Uganda. He also represented the school at the national association of student leaders.
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