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Makerere boss faces dismissal over extorting cash from graduate for transcript processing

Kampala, (UG):- A Makerere University administrator in the Academic Registrar’s department is in hot soup after he was caught on camera extorting money from a graduate before issuing out her academic transcript.

The graduate whom Monitor only identified as Daphne had reportedly gone to the University to pick up the document on Monday, February 05, 2024, when the incident happened.

Ms Daphne emphasized that she had cleared with several authorities at Makerere before going to the administrator in charge of issuing transcripts for students from the College of Humanities and Social Sciences to pick her document.

“When I went to his office to pick up my transcript on Monday, he said my transcript was not ready except for students who had recently graduated. I felt frustrated because I had got a job offer and they demanded I present my transcript the following day. This made me cry,” says Ms Daphine as quoted by Monitor’s Dorothy Nagitta.

She added: “The man then told me to check on him on Tuesday to see if my transcript was ready. So I called him at 1.40 pm and he asked if I had read an email he had sent me.”

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An email seen by the publication coming from the administrator shows him asking for Shs50,000 from Ms Daphine.

The brief email with the subject “Trans” reads, “Send 50k [Shs50,000] now and c [see] me before 430pm [4.30 pm] today (Tuesday).”

According to the report, Ms Daphine would then share the message with her friend who had picked up her transcript without paying any money.

“My friend then sent a message to Prof Barnabas Nawangwe, the Makerere University Vice Chancellor, who asked her to tell me to go to his office and also name the administrator who was demanding money, which we did,” Daphne said.

Upon knowing of the matter, Prof Nawangwe inquired from the Academic Registrar, Prof Buyinza Mukadasi, who the culprit was, but Prof Buyinza denied knowing of any staff under his department with that name.

“The department of the Academic Registrar doesn’t have anybody by that name. That must be a fraudster, but let the student come to my office,” said Prof Buyinza.

Ms Daphne upon reaching Prof Buyinza’s office, and narrating her ordeal to him, the two then plotted to net the culprit with the Academic Registrar giving her a Shs50,000 note to take to the culprit but he wrote down the serial number.

On reaching the administrator’s office, Ms Daphne submitted her transcript request documents and other requirements, including the 50k note, which the administrator received, not knowing that he was being recorded on the phone camera.

“When I reached the administrator’s office, I gave him my transcript request card, a photocopy of my national ID, plus a note of Shs50,000 that he took and put on his desktop. He told me to give him 20 minutes. In the meantime, I had recorded a video of him and sent it to Prof Mukadasi, who then summoned him for questioning,” Ms Daphine said.

Daphne said the culprit was then ordered by Prof Mukadasi to give her academic document, which he did as the University administration probes the matter further.

When contacted to ascertain the claims of extortion from the graduate, Prof Buyinza Mukadasi, the Makerere University Academic Registrar, acknowledged receiving the complaint from the affected graduate on Tuesday.

“I received a complaint where it’s alleged that a staff member tried to solicit an inducement to do his work,” Prof Buyinza said, before adding; “We have a policy on academic integrity which includes the full detail of how these claims are handled.”

“Natural justice demands that we must investigate, and give fair hearing to suspected staff,” he emphasized.

Nevertheless, Prof Mukadasi said once proven guilty, the implicated administrator faces sanctions which among others include being cautioned, suspension from duty and outright dismissal.

“I will investigate this allegation to its logical conclusion. I need some time to review all available information about this allegation to determine if there is enough ground to refer the matter to the Directorate of Human Resources.”

Prof Nawangwe has in the wake of the matter come out to emphasise that no student should pay money to anyone for transcript processing or any other services that are supposed to be free at the university.

“Nobody should pay any money to anybody for the processing of a transcript. Students who are told to pay for transcripts should report to the Academic Registrar at the Senate Building immediately,” Prof Nawangwe stated in a conversation with the publication.

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By press time, efforts to reach out to the unnamed administrator were still fruitless, but Prof Nawangwe reaffirmed that he is under investigation and that appropriate sanctions would be applied.

Story adapted from Monitor by Priscilla Maloba & Dorothy Nagitta

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