They were dismissed from Makerere University in 2018 August and December respectively for allegedly procuring the alteration of their marks.
The Main Administration Building - Ivory Tower
former Makerere University students are struggling to overturn their dismissal by
the Senate over marks fraud, Uganda Radio Network has learnt.
They are Simon
Peter Musisi Ntege, a former student of Bachelor of Science in Computer
Engineering and Phillip Kakuru, a former student of Bachelor of Science in
Civil Engineering in the College of Engineering, Design, Art and Technology
dismissed from Makerere University in 2018 August and December respectively for
allegedly procuring the alteration of their marks. They were charged and
found guilty of fraud under rule 5(c) of the University Regulations on
Examination Malpractices and irregularities (2015). This specifically states that
it shall be an offence for a student in an examination to falsify or alter
marks on an examination script book.
It provides for cancellation of the relevant examination results,
suspension or dismissal of the affected student from the university. However,
the affected students have appealed to the University Council, the supreme
governing body of the university denying allegations of participating in marks
to the council to exercise fairness and overturn the decision made by the Senate
and allow them complete their courses. Senate at its special meeting held on
March 30, 2016, set up a Central Ad hoc Examination Irregularities and
Malpractices (Alteration of Marks) Marks Committee to hear and determine
complaints concerning examination malpractices.
The students were apparently invited to appear
before the probe committee for a hearing.
The Phillip Kakuru Case
The committee noted that whereas the school
records/ mark sheets had lower genuine marks for Phillip Kakuru, the Results
Management System –RMS had new forged s marks for six course units.
instance, whereas the authentic marks for courses; CIV1201 Strength of
Materials initially is 39% the new mark was 80%; CIV2101 Theory
of Structures Initially with -1% was changed to 67%, CIV2103 Engineering
Surveying I changed from39% to 65%; CIV2104 Hydraulics changed
from 40 to 77%; CIV2105 Thermodynamics for Civil engineers
(elective) changed from 34 to 76% while EMT2101 Engineering
Mathematics III was altered from 39 to 80 per cent.
Masikye Namoah, the Makerere University Academic Registrar, says Kakuru’s marks
changed at least three times on the RMS and the probe committee found him
guilty of participating in the alterations. Kakuru’s dismissal was unanimously
endorsed by the Senate at its 163rd meeting held on November 26, 2018.
dismissal from Makerere means that a student is ineligible to change program or
apply for any other program within the university. But Kakuru explains he
has never at any time been involved in any form of examination malpractice and
the alleged results alteration.
sat all the retakes during my academic journey and managed to get requisite
pass marks within the times allowed by the university rules to re-sit the
papers,” he explains. On
February 23rd 2016, the student further explains that he received a letter from
the principal CEDAT dated January 29th 2016 requiring him to submit a written
defense in response to the said marks alteration.
Kakuru says he responded
within two weeks of receipt of the letter, attaching all documents proving that
he registered for the papers, some of which were retakes. “I sat for all the papers that have been complained
of in accordance with the University rules that allow a student to sit papers
for at least three times. I appeared before the committee on 8th day of June
2016 and pleaded not guilty to these allegations,” Kakuru narrates.
that, “The committee went silent and summoned me two years later on April 20th,
2018 when I was completing my last academic semester of my studies. I submitted
several documents (original bank slips, financial statements, original copies
of testimonies, and proof of registration and examination permits) all of which
were retained and have never been returned to date,” he adds.
According to Kakuru, the allegations of
malpractice were raised while in his 2nd year of study but he proceeded to his
3rd and 4th year passing successfully without contest. He says he was due to graduate in January 2019
and even appeared on the graduation list until Senate hastily decided to
“I am concerned that I was allowed to proceed
with the course for two years without any form of interruption after the
allegations were raised, in which time I was paying tuition and all other
university dues, incurring costs in accommodation and other course related
expenses. It is unfair to hurriedly take a decision that affects my entire
academic journey at the graduation time,” Kakuru says in his appeal to Council.
Kakuru says he is puzzled that the probe
committee took a decision without verifying whether the results he sat for
exams or not. “As a student, I didn’t have any access to the University
System to carry out the alleged alteration of marks. I have not involved myself
with any person that could be involved in the said malpractice,” explains
Peter Musisi Ntege He
joined Makerere University in 2010 under Bachelor of Science in Computer
Engineering in the Faculty of Technology and completed the course in 2014. He was
set to graduate in January 2015.
“Unfortunately I did not appear on the
graduation list and the reason that was communicated to me was that my marks had
been altered with respect to six course units,” Ntege discloses. The
student according to Namoah was found guilty of marks fraud and dismissed.
During the probe, the committee invited the
student’s lecturer, Head of Department and College Registrar for a hearing. He
provided the students original academic records that were conflicting with the
record of results extracted by the ICT unit of the academic registrar.
The probe team accused the student of altering
marks for course; UNIV 1001 Communication Skills from 63 to
85%, CMP2103 Object Oriented Programming from 55 to 64%,
ELE 1202 Electricity and Magnetism from 52 to 85% and EMT2101
Engineering Mathematics III from 55 to 66%. Meanwhile, TEC
1301 Workshop Practice (Core Course) changed from 63 to
85% while CMP2203 Digital Logic changed from 54 to
The ICT unit told the probe committee that the
marks were altered through the back end of the RMS, but the student claimed he didn’t
check his results until 2015. The probe team said Ntege failed to provide any
satisfactory explanation to contradict the evidence.
However, Ntege has told the university council
that whereas the probe team alleged that his lecturer’s pinned him on the
offense, he never saw any CEDAT staff during the three committee panels he
appeared since 2016.
“It may have been confirmed by the ICT Division
that the said marks were altered through the back end of the result management
system but they said I.T witness who was called to testify to this did not at
any one time in his evidence specifically state that the altering was done by
me,” Ntege explains.
“No evidence was brought to show that I altered
the said marks or that I procured someone to do so on my behalf. The reason is
very simple, I have no access to the said system of entry of marks and I never
had,” he added. Ntege accused the probe committee of reaching at
its final decision basing on speculation, which he says has not been ably
proved to date.
“For the said Committee to pronounce itself on
the same and arrive at a decision to have me dismissed from the university
based on the fact I was the only person to benefit from the said alteration
without evidence that I participated in the same is grossly unfair. The
ingredient of participation in an allegation as serious as this is very key and
it should be noted to you Mr. chairperson [Council] that the committee fell
short of proving the same as against me,” Ntege says in defense.
The student through his lawyer, Patricia Magara
of M/s Maxim Advocates said he would drag the university to court if Makerere
doesn’t give the justice he deserves. “Why should I be dismissed from Makerere
University for something I did not participate in doing, was not privy to, and
did not procure anyone to participate in the same for my benefit?” Ntege
In March 2017, university authorities were
forced to close the RMS used to record students' examinations marks, and subsequently
suspended the issuance of academic transcripts. Later in September of the same year, the
university canceled at least 69 degrees after the university audit found that
the students’ transcripts were either forged or reflected altered results.