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British Firm Halts Printing Makerere University Certificates over Arrears

Security printer Smith & Ouzman, a leading authority on security printing solutions and document fraud prevention based in a resort town East Bourne on England’s southeast coast is said to have declined to print more certificates unless the university clears the outstanding arrears.
Doctors concerned over the delayed release of their certificates by Makerere University

Audio 4

An international security printing firm is reluctant to print Makerere University certificates for the 2019 graduands over arrears.

Security printer Smith & Ouzman, a leading authority on security printing solutions and document fraud prevention based in a resort town East Bourne on England’s southeast coast is said to have declined to print more certificates unless the university clears the outstanding arrears.  However URN could not establish how much the company owes the university.

A document dated October 3, seen by URN reporter indicates that the company has not received any communication from the University Procurement Department regarding the contract for printing the certificates. 

“From my senior management perspective I believe they will need to have all the outstanding invoices paid before they allow this new work to be printed,” said Mike Jackson, the International Sales Manager at Smith & Ouzman in a document.

Each graduate is required to pay 30,000 shillings as certificate fee, which is part of the graduation fees. 

However, ever since the 151 Bachelors of Medicine and Surgery and Bachelors of Dental Surgery students graduated from Makerere in January this year, they have not accessed academic certificate, which is a requirement for license and registration by their professional body, Uganda Medical and Dental Practitioners Council (UMDPC).

The doctors note that they had missed out on a number of opportunities as a result of the delayed certificate. 

Dr. Ronald Komata, a graduate from Makerere University Medical School said he has so far missed both a job and a scholarship opportunity due to lack of a certificate. 

//Cue in: “The lack of certificates…

Cue out: …at my parents’ home.”//

Dr Bill Wambaka, a Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery graduate says they have not heard from the university six weeks after they wrote to the Vice-Chancellor about their graduation certificates, except for a claim that the British firm had delayed in supply. 

//Cue in: “We have only had claims…

Cue out: …because we are trained and qualified.”// 

Dr Aggrey Kizito Katulege wonders whether Uganda doesn’t have a competent printing firm to print the certificates.

//Cue in: “If it was the very…

Cue out: …what does that show?”//

 Dr Enos Kigozi, another concerned medical graduate from Makerere says they have issued a one-week ultimatum to the university to have served them their certificates lest they go to court. 

“Professor Nawangwe promised us while assuming leadership at Makerere that he would change the systems and ensure students graduate with their transcripts and certificates. We are surprised however that years after, the same things he found are still here with us,” 

He contends that graduates have been told by UMDPC that they can only be registered if they had internship completion certificates, academic transcripts and degree certificates. 

Luganda//Cue in: “Tukikilidde…

Cue out: …byebatukola ssibilungi.”// 

Smith & Ouzman’s Mike Jackson, the International Sales Manager could not be reached for a comment.

When contacted, the head of Senate Professor Umar Kakumba who is also the First Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic Affairs) at Makerere University seemed surprised that the graduates had not received their certificates.  

“I am away in Johannesburg. But I thought the certificates for the students who graduated in January were issued. Let me find out from the Academic Registrar,” said Professor Kakumba.