Kampala. Authorities at Makerere University are investigating reports that a syndicate of dishonest officials assisted undisclosed number of students secure admission using fake academic papers.
The university admission committee on March 1 established a committee to investigate the issue that sources are now calling a scam.
Eight days later, the academic registrar, Mr Alfred Masikye Namoah, wrote letters to each of the 15 students suspected to have used forged diploma academic transcripts to gain admission to the Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBChB), and Bachelor of Pharmacy; all from the College of Health Sciences, informing them to appear before the ad hoc committee to defend their transcripts before the university could take a decision. “It was discovered that you presented a forged diploma academic transcript for admission on private sponsorship 2016/2017 academic year. You are therefore requested to show cause why your admission should not be cancelled by appearing before the ad hoc committee on March 21 without fail,” reads part of Mr Namoah’s March 9 letter.
Those whose admissions risk cancellation include 13 first-year Medicine students: Peter Kakooza, Asuman Muwana, Martha Namugaanyi, Emmanuel Nkurunziza, Charles Atagwirweho, Hilary Nuwamanya, Ivan Basungwa, Henry Kiyimba, Kizito Senkabirwa, Halidi Ssentamu, Wenceslaus Twinomujuni, Emmanuel Bongo and Douglas Bwakucha.
The admission committee is also reviewing academic papers of Moris Banyomire, and Emmanuel Okwero both pursuing pharmacy.
According to the university regulations, cases of impersonation, falsification of documents, giving false or incomplete information, whenever discovered either at registration or after leads to automatic cancellation of admission and prosecution in the Uganda courts of law.
Sources close to the university but who declined to be named because they are not allowed to speak to the media are already pointing the finger at Mr Christopher Ntwatwa, now in police custody over alteration of students’ marks. Mr Ntwatwa works as an administrative assistant in the Office of the Academic Registrar.
Prof Charles Ibingira, the principal College of Health Sciences, yesterday said their new investigations indicate that the university management was working round the clock to ensure the culprits are nailed.
Prof Ibingira said: “This time round, we went to institutions where these affected students studied from and it was discovered they didn’t have their records. Maybe they got the papers from Nasser Road [a popular location for printers in Kampala],” Prof Ibingira told Daily Monitor in an interview.
The Minister of State for Ethics and Integrity, Fr Simon Lokodo, yesterday condemned the acts of forging admissions and degrees at the university and vowed to take action immediately he establishes the facts.
The university council, was by press time locked in a meeting over the reported admission and marks forging scam.