By Innocent Anguyo
KAMPALA - A group of Makerere University students say they are considering the option of disrupting proceedings at next week's graduation ceremony if their request to be included on the graduation list is not put into consideration.
The students, led by the students’ guild, Wednesday pitched camp at the entrance of the university’s Senate building, denouncing the omission of their names from the graduation list.
The country’s oldest public university is set to graduate at least 12, 616 students starting Tuesday and will run until Friday 31.
But ahead of the 64th graduation ceremony, some students are bitter that their names were left out.
According to the representatives of the students who numbered over 50, the university has deliberately omitted their names from the graduation booklet, despite having fulfilled all the requirements.
For over three hours, the students shouted in unison, “We want to graduate because it is our right. We have paid like others, why sideline us?”
The university could not disclose how many eligible students have been sidelined for the forthcoming graduation ceremony, but the students’ guild academic minister, Andrew Mujuni revealed that at least 70 students from Makerere University Business School (MUBS) are affected.
This year’s graduation will see students receive Doctorates, Masters Degrees, Post Graduate diplomas and also Undergraduate degrees.
Of these, 11,103 are Undergraduates, 1,192 will receive Masters Degrees, 51 will acquire Doctorates and 213 will walk away with Undergraduate Diplomas.
Also, 57 will obtain Post Graduate Diplomas.
‘It is unfair’
Efforts by the aggrieved students to get the university administration to comment on the matter proved futile as officials at Senate remained unmoved from inside their offices.
The students’ guild information minister, Lillian Aber said the guild president, Anna Adeke, recently handed a petition to the Academic Registrar, requesting him to include the eligible students on the graduation booklet.
“We wrote to the AR [Alfred Masikye], asking him to consider including the names of the students on the list but he did not reply.
“It is very unfair for the university to force students to remain around for a longer period than is required of them,” she said.
Aber said the students have now resolved to sue the university for apparently omitting their names from the booklet.
By press time, the students were drafting a notice of intention to sue, with the help of their lawyer, Frederick Mbaziira of Mbaziira and Co. Advocates.
Now they threaten to disrupt next week’s graduation ceremony if their demand is not taken into consideration.
Meanwhile, the students’ guild has asked the students to register at the Guild offices, as they build a case against the university.
Makerere University senior spokesperson, Ritah Namisango said she had already contacted the Academic Registrar over the matter.
It is understood Masikye reportedly said the names of all students who met the requirements for graduation by the deadline have been included in the booklet.
The initial deadline for students to clear for graduation elapsed on December 18 2013. But it was delayed twice further – first to January 10 2014, and then further to January 15 2014.
“I know that if you have satisfied the requirements for graduation, and for any reason be excluded from the graduation booklet, you are requested to write to the college authorities and on verification, the department of AR [Academic Registrar] will issue you with a transcript,” said Namisango.
The university says the names of some of the students could have been excluded from the booklet over retakes, debt to the university and failure to clear for graduation.
Angry students threaten to disrupt graduation