By Mary Karugaba
WITH a few months to the 2016 general elections, Woman MP Sembabule District Anifa Kawooya's chances of returning to parliament seems to have been quashed after the National Council for Higher Education ruled, revoking her academic qualification.
According to a letter dated June30, 2015, NCHE executive director Prof. Opuda- Asibo said the certificate of formal completion of 'A' Level or its equivalent that was awarded to Kawooya does not apply in pursuit of her political aspirations.
"The purpose of this letter therefore is to communicate Council's decision on this matter and request you to return the certificate issued to you on December8, 2015 to our secretariat at your earliest convenience," Opuda wrote.
In 2005, Kawooya requested the NCHE to issue her a certificate of equivalence to enable her stand for woman MP in Sembabule District subject to verification with the Knights Bridge University UK as well as UNEB for the O' Level Certificate, which qualifications she used to obtain admission into other institutions and Nkumba University.
However in 2010, the NRM electoral commission requested the NCHE to investigate the qualifications after allegations of forgery.
According to a letter by NRM EC chairperson Felistus Magomu, it was alleged that Kawooya's admission and subsequent award of the degree by Nkumba University was founded on at least two invalid academic certificates.
Magomu said information showed that Kawooya was not qualified for admission to 'A' level since she was awarded the "U" unclassified grade at O' Level.
In a letter to the Speaker of parliament dated July 10, KNT advocates, on behalf of Joy Kabatsi said investigations were also carried out in UK and it was found that Knights Bridge University was none existent.
In September the NCHE wrote to Nkumba University and demanded that Kawooya's certificate be withdrawn.
Kawooya however protested and petitioned the Constitution Court claiming that the NCHE should have given her a fair hearing before recalling the certificate. The Court ruled that Kawooya had a right to be heard and that the Council should have afforded her the opportunity.
It was also upheld by the Supreme Court. The Council summoned Kawooya and heard her defence. Unfortunately on June 30, 2015, the Council upheld its decision to recall the certificate.
Kabatsi's lawyers requested the Speaker of parliament to throw out Kawooya saying she was illegally in Parliament and that she had "illegally represented the people of Sembabule for all these years."
Efforts to get Kawooya were futile but NRM party EC chairman Dr. Tanga Odoi said he had fixed an appointment with Kawooya to see what next.
"I am going to write to her through the Speaker. I don't know what she is saying about all this," Odoi said.
However she said there will be no by-election since the next elections are around the corner.