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Here is Uganda’s most sought after elite society of debaters!

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Some of the Debate Society Uganda  members

Some of the Debate Society Uganda members

By Muzaphal Kimbugwe

Wednesday morning as I step off the elevator on the 6th floor of Esella hotel, I am stunned.

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A week earlier I was booked for adjudication duty in the Acfode Inter University debate nationals, convening universities from all over the country to debate a number of issues on gender and governance. I am here as an adjudicator under the banner of Debate Society Uganda, a society of young men and women with a passion for debate, who in this competition are technical implementers for adjudication and tabbing. Essentially, they decide who wins.

I am stunned to be here, as part of this society of young men and women who on face value can be mistaken for ordinary contemporary folk yet they are inarguably some of the most intelligent and eloquent young people this nation is blessed to have. Some are clad in suits, others in shorts-yes, shorts
while some are casual smart, donning chinos and blazers. They are full of life and they have an enviable sense of humour. Around them, you can’t hold your laughter.

Gilbert, the Chief adjudicator in this tournament is a young man of average height, a strategic mix of tough and simple demeanour and with a great sense of humour. Gilbert is running a quick activity to help debaters and adjudicators know each other. Gilbert is a team building expert. You will also think that Gilbert is a comedian, because he actually is, and an MC among other things. He is an agriculturalist, an MSC candidate, a researcher and most importantly here, a seasoned debater and public speaker.

Just like Gilbert, most of the members of Debate Society Uganda present here are professionals in different fields while others are students. In all this diversity, intriguing as it is, I see young people doing what they love, having fun at it and doing it super well.

Fast forward, there is a briefing of debaters, after which Jacob Eyeru, the national head of Debate Society Uganda is to give a key note address on “Debate as a Vehicle for Enhancing Good Governance and Youth Participation”.

My oh my, Jacob is sui generis. Listening through his address, everyone is just amazed. Jacob is an engineer by the way so one would wonder, “Engineering, debate, how so?” Well, Jacob is above all things a seasoned debater whose story as he tells it jokingly shows how far he has come, from a young boy with a desire to debate, who grows into an outstanding student that leads his university’s fast growing debating union at Makerere University and is later elected East African Community Youth Ambassador for Uganda in the program’s pioneer years. That he now leads this society of debaters is not surprising.

It is a successful tournament, the Acfode inter university debate nationals. Round after round, my interaction with different members of this society who alongside me are serving as adjudicators is just awe amazing. Their understanding of issues, their ability to weigh arguments, their ability to give feedback to students and their commitment to debate is just admirable.

One of these guys, Segawa Ivan Sebastian is the current East African Community Youth Ambassador for Uganda. Ivan’s story as earlier told by Jacob in his keynote address makes this society even more intriguing. From humble beginnings of a boy who couldn’t write his own speeches, Ivan has grown into a seasoned debater who has among other things led his university’s debating union at Kyambogo, won many awards, represented Uganda at the world debate championships and is now the head of the society’s television debate program, the NBS Television school debates. Ivan’s story is just one of the many-stories of Debate Society Uganda’s members.

Beatrice Kaytiena, another member of this society is the Vice President of the General Assembly of the International Youth Diplomacy Conference in Accra Ghana 2019. Beatrice is an entrepreneur, a graduate of linguistics and a postgraduate student of international relations and diplomacy. Cut Beatrice and she will bleed debate.

Ntambi Michael Blair, the head of the society’s schools program is a 3rd year student of law at the Islamic University in Uganda (IUIU). He has among other things led his University’s debating union and he is the head of the Rule of law debates. By his dress code and gentle demeanour, we joke that he is deserving of the tittle Sir or Lord. Lord Blair, we say.

Samantha, another member of the society is a fourth year law student at Makerere University while Peter Muhizi is a teacher of linguistics. Peter’s experience in debate spans years of debate and public speaking training and adjudication. Peter was Chief adjudicator to the African Debate Championships in South Africa in 2018.

See why, on stepping off the elevator, I am stunned? To be in the presence of such young men and women is no easy feat.

And, oh, I haven’t talked of Patrick Ngasirwa, the tab master in the tournament or Joel Mucunguzi, both members of the society who are 4th year law students at Makerere University. Very humble and gentle souls yet overly intelligent and eloquent young men with an admirable command of the Queen’s language. What is even more admirable is their understanding of the law that will make you think they already are practising attorneys.

It is wondrous, how Debate Society Uganda has in a very short while managed to bring all these brilliant minds together for the cause of debate. It is even more wondrous, how sought after it already is.

This society has only been in existence for a couple of years yet today it is Uganda’s most sought after society of debaters, managing technical aspects of debate for both government and private actors who have debate as part of their programming. The society has among others managed tournaments
including the African Debate Championship, the East African Schools Invitational, the East African Universities Debate Championship, the Ministry of finance students accountability sector debates, the Olympic values debates, the European Union climate action debates in partnership with KCCA and the Southern and Eastern African Trade, Information and Negotiations Institute (SEATINI) debates.

Also, the society is now the technical implementer for debate in the Stanbic bank national schools championship, while its own national schools program is already ongoing.

Debate Society Uganda is already a member of the East African Debate Council, the Pan African Universities Debate Council and the African Schools Debate Board.

The society, impressively, is youth led, with its membership open to all youth with a passion for debate and desire to make debate available in its highest quality all over the country as a tool for nurture of young people to achieve an informed and engaged society.

I am more than confident to say that this society, Debate Society Uganda is the real deal.

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Engineer Peterson Mwesigwa Is Once Again Overall Best Student at LDC

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By Staff Writer

Peterson Mwesigwa could be the most intelligent Ugandan alive today. He holds a Masters Degree in Electrical and Computer Technology.

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Two years back, he was the first person to get a first class Degree at the Law School after over a decade of only second class degrees.

Now Mwesigwa is also the top student at this year’s graduating platform. He was awarded for topping everyone. He is surely an exceptional achiever.

A man standing at the interesection of the arts and sciences. An Engineer and now a lawyer.

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Andrew Mwenda on Loss of Mother: “I feel Empty and Lost”

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By Staff Writer

It has been a sad week as one of Uganda’s best journalists, Andrew Mwenda laid his mother to rest.

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While eulogizing his mother at All Saints Church, Mwenda described her as the most beautiful chic that ever lived. But one could not help but see the pain in his statements.

At 12 noon, Adyeeri Constance Muhangazima, was laid to rest in the great village of Kanyandahi.

Andrew Mwenda then took to Twitter to express his current pain and depression. He called it the biggest blow ever. He talked of feeling all lost and alone.

We can only pray for the best of comforting to the old man of the clan. Losing a mother is surely the hardest thing that ever happens to anyone in life. There is no hole deeper. It is a hole that cuts through a soul.

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Banzega: How Kisekka Market Mechanics Rob Car Owners; Ring Leader Revealed

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By Staff Writer

Many people in the past have shared nasty tales about their experiences with Kisekka market mechanics.

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BigEye.ug was able to speak to some mechanics who work at Kisekka market who revealed how the car repair scams happen. At Kisekka market, you basically pay for zero repairs on your car.

According to this mechanic, it is a big mistake for one to come by this area without calling up a specific mechanic. “We have cheap, good quality spare parts. But one should know that it usually doesn’t come cheap.”

These mechanics target naive drivers. They will warn you about someone wrong with your tyre and immediately offer a quick 5 minutes fix.

Before long others are taking off other tyres and claiming to be replacing car parts. Afterwards, they will give you a bill while your car has been stripped bare to the rims.

In order to survive, one has to pay or else the car won’t move. In Kisekka market, they call this method: “Banzega and Kusula masasi.”

We were also told that the ring leader is a one Bibi Atiriba; he runs his crime ring together with the nearby police post which takes a share of every bill. The police post will always rule in favour of the mechanics. “That guy has been to every prison in the country. He is feared by everyone. He is like a Kitatta but much more influential. He often brags that only Museveni can order him around,” this insider revealed to us.

“If you want your car to be repaired well, then it is best to just go straight to him. Or else wait to be scammed while in kisekka market.”

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