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We can’t compel politicians to verify their academic papers, says UNEB

KAMPALA, UGANDA:- The Uganda National Examination Board (UNEB) says it is not obliged to compel politicians to verify their papers and as such cannot be held responsible for a growing number of forgeries and falsification of academic documents by those seeking political office.

The development comes after at a time when police said it has received several complaints against academic qualifications of some politicians, including NUP’s Kawempe North Mp-Elect, Muhammad Ssegirinya.

Jennifer Kalule Musumba, the spokesperson of UNEB, said the law only allows them to provide information but not to go after the politicians, even when they have sufficient information that their documents are fake.

Criminal Investigations Department (CID) spokesperson Charles Twine said on Monday, however, that they could not launch an investigation because they found many of the complaints to be outside their mandate. As such, they referred them to UNEB.

Under the Access to Information Act, members of the public can apply to the board to be availed copies of a person’s documents.

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However, Kalule said the applicant must provide a strong reason to back their application. And if the board is not sufficiently convinced, it can decline providing the information.

Last week, the MP-elect for Kawempe North, Muhammad Ssegirinya, grabbed headlines after a fellow contestant in this year’s elections dragged him to court. 

Sulaiman Kidandala alleges that Ssegirinya presented forged documents to the Electoral Commission for clearance to stand for the seat. 

The case was filed under election petition number 5 of 2021 in the Civil Division of High Court in Kampala through Alaka and Company advocates.

Kidandala, who Ssegirinya beat in the race, says he is sufficiently convinced that documents are fake after a search on Ssegirinya’s papers showed inconsistencies in his O’ and A’ level certificates.

According to the Parliamentary Elections Act of 2005, a parliamentary aspirant should have a UACE (A-level or Senior Six completion) certificate or its equivalent.

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