KAMPALA, UGANDA: The Magistrate’s court in Nabweru, Wakiso district Friday slapped a shillings 4.8 million fine to a woman after she was found guilty of hiring a senior three student to sit the UNEB exams for her niece in the ongoing Uganda Certificate of Education examinations.
The convict identified as one Amina Nalwadda yesterday appeared before the court in Nabweru and was charged together with Mr Hamala Moses, the head teacher for Kawempe Standard Secondary School for aiding and abetting Emmanuel Bagenda sit UCE exams for Hyuda Namuwonge.
State prosecution led by the Nabweru Resident State Attorney Ms Deborah Itwao told court that Ms Nalwadda paid a sum of shs500,000 to Bagenda to help write papers for Ms Namuwonge.
According to a charge sheet seen by this website, Mr Bagenda on the fateful day of October 17 was found inside the examination hall with a paper under the name Hyuda Namuwonge and Ms Namuwonge was also found in the same examination room with her paper written onEmmanuel Bagenda’s name before the invigilator discovered the plot.
Further investigations all proved that Bagenda had been fully registered, had a uniform and was in Kawempe Standard SS album for UNEB.
The head teacher and Nalwadda were subsequently charged for aiding and abetting impersonation contrary to section 36 of the UNEB Act 2021 before court presided over by grade one magistrate Sanyu Mukasa.
However, the headmaster denied the charges whereas Nalwadda admitted to hiring the senior three student to sit exams for her niece before pleading to be be pardoned for her actions.
“The amount was ssh350,000 and not shs500,000 as alleged. However, I ask to be pardoned,” Nalwadda told court.
Ms Nalwadda’s lawyer Shamim Nalubega asked court to be lenient since the convict had pleaded guilty on her own and was a first time offender.
“We pray for a lighter sentence because the convict saved court’s time by pleading guilty. She was also remorseful,” Nalubega asked.
In reading the sentence, the Nabweru grade one magistrate, Sanyu Mukasa said the convict ought to receive a punishment that would deter others from the same offence of exam malpractice.
“Whereas the convict is a first-time offender, the offence she is convicted of is damaging the country’s education system. I sentence her to a shs4.8 million fine and failure to pay it, she will serve one year imprisonment,” the magistrate said.
The magistrate also released on bail the school head teacher who had earlier denied the charges of aiding and abetting impersonation.
Speaking shortly after court, Ann Kemali, the UNEB senior legal officer warned members of the public against participating in exam malpractice or else they will end up in jail.
“The public should know that the UNEB Act of 2021 is out to bite. This is a strong warning to whoever engaged in malpractice that whereas the previous one was weak, the new law is out to bite. Even if we discover during marking that there was malpractice, we will investigate the matter and everyone involved will be held culpable,” Kemali said.
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