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Panic as Kyambogo University ex-staff deletes data of graduands

Reports say results and data of nearly 2,900 students have been deleted from the Kyambogo university system.

BIG STORY: There is growing tension and panic at Government-owned Kyambogo University after its former staff allegedly deleted results and data of nearly 2,900 students from the university system, just weeks to its 17th graduation ceremony.

According to the Daily Monitor publication, sources who spoke on condition of anonymity said the e-campus system that houses students’ data was deleted last week and is yet to be retrieved.

They say the university website was taken offline before being restored after about one day.

Other services that were affected include the university server, library system, and university email.

According to the source, prime suspects include former staff who used to manage these systems.

These include Mr. Shamusu Zziwa, Mr. Joseph Katongole, Mr. Philemon Wenganga, Mr. Hudson Kisitu and Mr. Joshua Muzaaya. All of them have flatly denied the accusations.

Daily Monitor reports that the suspects formerly worked as assistant information technology officers in the Directorate of ICT at the university and resigned a few months back.

“The university learnt that some of the staff in question were being investigated by CID on alleged double employment, something the university thinks prompted them to tender their resignation at Kyambogo, “our source said.

Speaking on the matter, the university Vice-Chancellor, Prof Eli Katunguka yesterday affirmed that the five former staff who resigned from the university and declined to officially hand over the University systems and software are prime suspects.

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Prof Katunguka said some of the staff in question were employed as a full staff and allegedly acted as bosses in Zeenode Company.

The university’s human resource manual outlaws holding more than one full-time job concurrently.

“We are sure they are the ones who deleted the data because they were in charge of all these particular things that were deleted,” Prof Katunguka said.

He added: “They wanted to disorganise the university because they learnt that graduation is around the corner.”

The University’s forthcoming graduation

Kyambogo is expected to graduate more than 7,500 students from September 21 to 23.  Prof Katunguka said some graduands are among the 2,900 students whose results and data were deleted.

Sources revealed that if the university fails to retrieve the lost results and data in time the affected students could yet again sit out the graduation ceremony.

The pandemic forced a graduation ceremony that had been lined up for December 2020 to be postponed.

Prof Katunguka, however, believes there is no need for alarm. “I have been assured by the ICT officials that most of the data and systems that were deleted has been recovered from the backups,” he said.

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The university nevertheless wants to retrieve its students’ credentials from the rogue elements whom Prof Katunguka say pose “a security threat to [our] integrity.”

Whereas the university has reported the case to Criminal Investigation Directorate (CID), our sources tell us that it could be in for the long haul. One of the prime suspects is a son of a powerful minister (name withheld) who is reportedly interfering with the case.

Mr Charles Twiine, the CID spokesperson said two of the university’s former staff have been interrogated and are out on police bond.

“Crime is an individual liability, so no one can influence it,” Mr Twiine said.

Mr Philemon Wenganga, one of the accused staff, pleaded innocent.

“None of us deleted the university server and I do not know why they are saying that. They are just trying to defame us,” he said.

Mr Wenganga added that Prof Katunguka wrote to them, asking that they remove any system or application of Zeenode hosted on the university server.

They were also ordered to hand over all the university ICT assets (hardware/software and credentials) in their possession. Mr Wenganga claims that they responded affirmatively.

We could not get a comment from Mr Muzaaya, Mr Kisitu, Mr Zziwa and Mr Katongole.

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