Wambalya’s journey to Guild President of UCU Mbale Campus
Originally posted at: https://www.ugandapartners.org/2022/03/wambalyas-journey-to-guild-president-of-ucu-mbale-campus/
By Eriah Lule
From primary school to secondary, and now to university, one thing has been consistent with Gerald Wambalya – leadership. That is why Wambalya’s assumption of duty as the 13th Guild President of the Uganda Christian University’s (UCU) Mbale Constituent College did not shock many who have been following his leadership journey.
Students who voted Wambalya into office in the elections held towards the end of 2021 say he was their choice because he is an ambitious and strategic leader. He was described as a leader who identifies problems and is quick to offer solutions.
As Guild President, the 24-year-old is now fully aware of the expectations he carries on his shoulders.
He said he expects to be questioned for anything that goes wrong and to be held accountable for his actions.
For his term of office, Wambalya has promised to liaise with the administration so that some of the policies regarding tuition payment and strict registration deadlines can be reviewed. Currently, the UCU tuition policies impose a fine of sh50,000 (about $15) on students do not meet the deadline for paying full tuition.
“I have a passion to serve the interests of students so they can enjoy their academic life and stay at the college,” he said.
To achieve the promises that he made in his manifesto, Wambalya hopes to rely on the leadership experience that some of the members of his Guild Government have garnered. For instance, the Speaker of his Guild Government, Joweri Wobeyila, is the District Youth Chairperson of Sironko district in eastern Uganda.
To prepare himself for the top student leader job in the university, Wambalya started off in 2020, by contesting to become a member of parliament in the constituent college. He represented the students pursuing the Bachelor of Arts in Economics Management, which also was his course. In the same year, he was appointed Guild Speaker. Using the leadership exposure that the two positions had given him, Wambalya in 2021 contested for the highest student leadership office.
He attributes his victory to courage and having a supportive team.
“I got a dedicated team, which helped me mobilize support in such tough times of Covid-19,” he said.
Alfred Musasizi, a second-year student pursing a Bachelors of Business Administration, is confident of the leadership acumen of his new Guild President.
“He is a problem-solver,” Musasizi said. “Gerald is one of those people you approach with a problem and you are sure to get help.”
Wambalya is the second-born of eight children of Edmond and Robinah Wamurubu, who live in Mbale district in eastern Uganda. They are subsistence farmers who mainly depend on coffee as a cash crop.
Wambalya says every holiday, he returns home to help his parents in the coffee plantation since it is where they get the money to pay his tuition.
He attended Farewell Primary School in Mbale, where he served as the head boy. From Farewell Primary School, Wambalaya joined Nabumali High School for O’level. At Nabumali, he was the chairperson of the students’ council. For his A’level, Wambalya attended Hilton High School in Mukono district, central Uganda, where, again, he was a student leader. At Hilton, Wambalya was in charge of the school’s library and information.
All the leadership positions that Wambalya has held, he hopes, will be the springboard for him to launch himself in national politics when he is finally done with school.
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