20 March 2019

Uganda: Makerere Registrar Pin His Junior in Marks Alteration Case

Mr Edward Obura Peace-Onep, the Registrar of the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES) at Makerere University, has pinned his junior for allegedly altering students' marks in the Results Management System of the university.

While appearing before the Makerere University Staff Appeals Tribunal on Tuesday, Mr Obura said that Ms Joyce Namusoke, he bases his suspicion on the fact that the former Registrar in the School of Forestry, Environmental and Geographical Sciences, once confessed to him that she preferred working late and alone.

"At one time she told me she works alone and in the evening. I rely on that testimony and the printouts of logs in the system show her name very clearly," Mr Obura said

Ms Namusoke was dismissed in 2017 after being accused of falsifying students' marks and smuggling their names onto the graduation list.

Besides the School of Forestry, Environmental and Geographical Sciences, CAES has three schools including the School of Food Technology, Nutrition and Bioengineering, and the School of Agricultural Sciences.

Each of the schools has its own registrar with separate system user rights to enter student's marks into the system.

During a cross-examination session, Mr Obura disclosed that as a college registrar who supervises all the school registrars, he has no login rights into the system.

He said he only has "reading rights" which prevent him from entering marks or making any changes in the system.

When asked how it is possible to supervise people who use a system he cannot access, Mr Obura said that the registrars are supervised through print outs which indicate the person who makes a particular entry.

He said that the alleged marks alteration by Ms Namusoke was detected by Prof. Phillip Nyeko, the Head of Department of Forestry, Biodiversity and Tourism who informed the Dean of the School.

The dean, according to Mr Obura, convened a meeting which was attended by Ms Namusoke among other officials in the department.

"During the meeting, Joyce [Namusoke] said she didn't know how the marks were changing. Later, she said she changed them without knowing. She afterwards accepted that she changed them and apologised," Mr Obura said.

He said that Ms Namusoke was told in the meeting that she would be handed over to the Academic Registrar who would maybe deploy her to another office which was not tempting.

Mr Henry Mwebe, the university's Legal Director asked the tribunal to uphold the decision of the Appointments Board to dismiss Ms Namusoke by dismissing her appeal.

Ms Namusoke's lawyer, Mr Saulo Kikomeko, however, asked the tribunal to re-instate her.

He said once re-instated, she should be paid all the money she would have earned in salary and allowances for the two years she has spent out of university service.

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