17 April 2017

Uganda: Makerere Expels 15 Medical Students Over Fake Admission Documents

Photo: Abubaker Lubowa/Daily Monitor
Makerere University students line up to pay tuition fees at the campus.

Makerere University has dismissed 15 students who allegedly forged diploma transcripts to gain admission to the Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBChB), and Bachelor of Pharmacy, in the College of Health Sciences.

Those dismissed are 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, all first-year students of Medicine and Surgery.

Moris Banyomire and Emmanuel Okwero who were pursuing Bachelor of Pharmacy degree were also expelled.

On March 9, the academic registrar, Alfred Masikye Namoah, wrote to the affected individuals informing them to appear before an ad hoc committee in the Senate Building to defend their diploma 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 letter.

Sources close to the university but who declined to be named told Daily Monitor that only 11 students appeared before the committee but their defence was weak.

On Wednesday last week, the committee dismissed the students.

The Deputy Vice chancellor, Finance and administration Prof Barnabus Nawangwe confirmed the dismissal arguing that the university does not admit students with forged documents.

Prof Nawangwe noted that the victims should not even expect any refund from the university because they are criminals who are supposed to be in prison.

"If somebody has got entry into the university using fake documents, the matter is not just being dismissed from the university, but it is criminal offence so they should be in prison because they are criminals," Prof Nawangwe said. "They are not entitled to any refund because they have been studying and using our facilities much as they were here illegally."

Prof Charles Ibingira, the principal College of Health Sciences, had earlier informed Daily Monitor that the students had presented fake documents for admission and that management was working round the clock to ensure the culprits are nailed.

"This time round, we went to institutions where these affected students claimed to have studied and it was discovered they didn't have their records. Maybe they got the papers from Nasser Road," he said.

According to 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.

Makerere University has been grappling with the problem of false marks. Recently, officials from the Academic Registrar's office were suspended following accusations that they altered students' marks in the university's data base after pocketing cash.

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