UGANDA – Makerere University is undertaking a comprehensive audit of marks of students over the past several years to identify and recall degrees obtained on the basis of forged or altered results.
Our investigations show that Dr Damalie Naggitta-Musoke, the former dean of the School of Law, is heading the inquiries being conducted by what is officially called the central ad hoc examinations, irregularities and malpractices committee. It began its work last November.
However, a staggering mismatch unearthed between results submitted by colleges and schools and final scores released by the Office of the Academic Registrar prompted the university to stretch the investigation to cover the past five years.
For instance, the School of Law, results awarded even a decade ago are being reviewed, sources familiar with the investigations told this newspaper on condition of anonymity owing to the sensitivity of the matter.
According to two other sources, a former minister who obtained a graduate degree in Public Administration and a number of Members of Parliament as well as high-flying professionals in the country will likely to be affected.
We have withheld identities of the officials in order not to jeopardise investigations.
In some cases, students with retakes were processed to graduate.
The Naggitta-Musoke committee has in its preliminary report linked the disparities to students’ results being altered at Senate level after lecturers and college and school registrars’ submissions.
Ahead of last February graduation, some lecturers at the last minute alerted authorities that ineligible students had been cleared to graduate, prompting the university management to remove names of 50 graduands from the graduation booklet and block conferment of degrees on them. The university withheld transcripts of thousands more out of the 14,000 who graduated, pending verification of their results. Without transcripts, many of the affected alumni have had headache applying for scholarships or jobs.
Weeks after the graduation, Makerere in March closed the online marks system and suspended the issuance of academic transcripts. The online marks system was being used to enter and store student’s examination scores.
“We decided to investigate the results for the past five years,” the incoming Vice Chancellor Prof Barnabas Nawangwe said yesterday, adding: “And where need be, we shall go deeper because all the colleges are affected and we shall continue investigating the results if there is anyone suspected to have cheated.”