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In a competition that was organized by ASPIRE Debate Rwanda and ran from 14th to 15th September 2018 at the University of Kigali, ULK Debaters emerged the champions after knocking out all the participating universities from across the country.

Apart from enabling the debaters to think critically and speak in public, the competition revealed how informed the debaters are as far as democracy is concerned.

Since the competition format was to rely on the British parliamentary debate format, every university was allowed to field in as many teams as it wanted. This made it possible for two teams from Kigali Independent University ULK to reach the finals and they were both awarded as the champions and second run up at the end of the competition.

Asked to have a say after winning the countrywide competition, Mr. SHYAKA Jesse Rayson, one of the ULK debaters said that they went to the competition believing that they will scoop the trophy since they regularly sharpen their debate skills through  reading and arguing on a number of topics.

“The culture of debates is part and parcel of what we do every day at ULK. We have a strong debate Club and our university provided us with facilities that enable us to properly sharpen our minds. Therefore, when we went to that competition, we already knew we were going to win it because we practice regularly and read a lot”, he was quoted as saying.

The whole competition covered two days before it came to its end. Throughout the competition,  debaters exchanged on motions such as “ This house as an emerging democracy would suppress local media providers in favor of international media providers,  This house believes that the west should prioritize stability over exporting democracy in foreign policy”, etc. ULK Debaters proved their debate prowess by garnering all the marks from the adjudicators.

Asked to express her feelings, KABANDA Erica, the President of the Debate Club, seemed to be missed of words and then she said that the spirit of working together as a team led to their victory.

“Beating all the universities from around the country isn’t something easy. It required us to work closely together as a team and exchange on the best way to respond to the attacks. I’m glad we convinced the adjudicators and they’ve announced us winners of this year’s debate Championship”, She proudly said.

After winning the trophies, ULK Debaters brought them and on Monday 17th September 2018, they presented the trophies to the management of the university.

In his congratulatory message, Dr. SEKIBIBI Ezechiel, the Vice Chancellor of Kigali Independent University ULK, thanked the debaters for making ULK proud and pledged that the university will continue to do all it takes to support the debaters for more victories in the years to come.

“The management of the university is proud of you. You’ve made all of us proud by winning a big competition like this. Let me therefore reiterate that we will continue to do all in our power to support you so that this winning spirit may prevail”, he assured them.

At the end of trophy presenting session, the Founder and President of ULK, Prof. Dr. RWIGAMBA Balinda, expressed his satisfaction vis-à-vis the victory of the debaters and urged them to inspire even many other students so that this culture of debating may thrive.

“I’m proud of you debaters for the victory you’ve brought back to your university. You’ve really made all of us proud and I’d like to request you to keep that winning spirit by encouraging and inspiring your brothers and sisters to join the debate club”, he enthusiastically said.

Winning the national debate championship earned ULK debaters ticket to attend the Pan-African Debate Championship due in Dar es Salaam/ Tanzania in December this year. At this time, they will be representing Rwanda.

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