Student wants Miss Uganda ‘fake’ degree probed

Student wants Miss Uganda 'fake' degree probed
Miss World Africa Queen Abenakyo Quiin graduated at Makerere University during the 3rd session of the 69 Graduation Ceremony

A second-year student of Makerere University has petitioned police to investigate circumstances under which Miss Uganda Quiin Abenakyo was allegedly awarded a ‘fake’ degree by Prof Barnabas Nawangwe.

David Musiri, who refers to himself as the chairperson of former suspended students of Makerere University has petitioned the director of the Criminal Investigations Directorate (CID), Grace Akullo to investigate into alleged illegal activities of Nawangwe.

Musiri wants Nawangwe investigated for allegedly issuing fake degrees, diverting money meant for bursaries and corruption among other allegations.

According to some documents seen by this publication, on August 20, 2018, Abenakyo wrote to the principal Makerere University Business School (MUBS), Prof Waswa Balunywa asking to defer her ‘financial management’ paper retake until when she returns from the beauty contest, which was expected to end by December.

She didn’t receive a response from the principal until January 10, 2019 when she returned to the country. She then wrote informing the university that she had returned from the Miss World beauty pageant where she emerged as the Miss World Africa and among the top five contestants.

“I would wish to retake this examination so that I graduate. I gather that the graduation ceremony will take place on January 18th, please allow me to retake the paper and graduate,” Abenakyo wrote.

As a result, Balunywa wrote to Nawangwe seeking authorisation to allow Abenakyo sit a special examination on January 12 such that she can be able to move on with her career plans.

“Allowing her to sit this examination would be a contribution of the institution in enabling her to pursue her career,” reads Balunywa’s letter in part. She was awarded a second class degree in Business Computing on January 17 during the 69th graduation ceremony.

Nawangwe has since told the media that Abenakyo graduated legally after completing all requirements, adding that there is evidence to that effect. In 2017, Makerere recalled more than 700 degrees after it emerged that students hacked the result management system and illegally entered their marks yet they hadn’t qualified to graduate.

“About the degree that was offered to Quiin Abenakyo, I want and I have instructed the director CID, to also investigate deeply into that degree of Quinn Abenakyo. They should come with clarity and tell us whether they have given Quinn Abenakyo this as an award or as fake degree,” said Musiri.

In his February 4 petition to Akullo, Musiri alleges that after his suspension from the university in 2018 for protesting against the 15 per cent tuition increment, Nawangwe and his personal assistant, Gordon Mulangira arbitrarily cancelled his name from the Chinese embassy scholarship beneficiaries. He wants the police to investigate what the duo does with the money since he was never replaced.

“I have reasons to suspect that the duo divert that money and pocket it….they usually manufacture excuses for withdrawing bursaries arbitrarily from needy students, on the pretext of indiscipline, and they later divert it for themselves”, the letter reads in part.

“I have also received numerous reports from concerned students that the vice chancellor and his personal assistant Gordon Mulangira usually facilitate the grant of fake marks and fake degrees to select students from privileged backgrounds. They also abuse their power to manipulate marks for certain students who deem critical of their administration or otherwise unwanted. There are many victims of this syndicate whom I shall disclose to you. Please investigate this syndicate.”

URN