By Aminah Nabuule
The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Jane Frances Abodo has taken over a case in which former presidential candidate Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu is accused of having fraudulently secured admission into Makerere University. The case was initially filed by lawyer Male Mabirizi as a private prosecutor.
Mabilizi petitioned the law development center court to summon Kyagulanyi on allegations of having obtained false registration at Makerere University where he graduated with a diploma in Music, Dance and Drama (MDD), about 20 years ago.
He noted that Kyagulanyi, was on October 21, 2000, registered as a student of MDD on a mature age entry scheme, contrary to the Makerere University prospectus of 1999/2000-2000/2001, which required that one ought to be at least aged 25 or have completed formal education at least five years before enrolling under the mature entry scheme.
Kyagulanyi, born on February 12, 1980, was aged 20 at the time of his admission under the scheme, yet he had not been out of formal education for as many as five years. Mabirizi states that Kyagulanyi sat for the mature entry exams, a year after he had sat his A’level examinations, contrary to the rule that one must have gone at least five years without formal education.
He adds that the diploma that Kyagulanyi obtained from Makerere University at the time was through fraud or dishonourable conduct and therefore needed to be revoked in line with provisions of the Universities and Other Tertiary Institutions Act.
The court had earlier issued summonses requiring Kyagulanyi to appear before the Law Development Centre court in Kampala. But Kyagulanyi never showed up. Instead, he sent lawyers; Geoffrey Turyamusiima, Benjamin Katana and George Musisi who informed the court that he had not been served well with the summons.
Turyamusiima told the court that Kyagulanyi only learnt about the summons through social media platforms yesterday, yet the case could not proceed in his absence since it was a criminal matter.
However, LDC court grade one magistrate Augustine Alule observed that it was ridiculous and very difficult to believe that Kyagulanyi, who even managed to send lawyers to represent him in court, was never served.
At this moment, the LDC court resident state attorney Hannifa Kasana told the presiding magistrate that the DPP had instructed her to take over the matter and was subsequently going to forward the file to police for further investigations.
Kasana also tendered to court a formal letter dated October 6, 2021, to take over the proceedings and asked Mabirizi to furnish her with the evidence he has to enable police investigations. But Mabirizi objected to the takeover, saying that it was not acceptable in Kyagulanyi’s absence.
But the magistrate ruled that the presence of Kyagulanyi’s lawyers signifies that he was served and that he was adequately represented in the court. Turyamusiima also indicated that what the DPP has done is provided for under the law. The matter has been adjourned to November 4, 2021, for mention.