Makerere University has cleared Internal Affairs Minister Hilary Onek of allegations that he falsely claimed to have obtained his first degree from the institution.
The University Academic Registrar, Mr Alfred Masikye Namoah, said although Eng. Onek did not complete his degree, his admission and his subsequent qualifications are authentic. He also acknowledged that Eng. Onek had taught at Makerere as a lecturer between 1980 and 1982 in the then Faculty of Technology.
Mr Namoah’s March 14 comments were in response to a request by the Permanent Secretary in the Energy Ministry, Mr Fredrick Kabagambe Kaliisa, to the university to verify the academic documents submitted by Onek to the Parliament.
Eng. Onek accused Mr Kaliisa of incompetence and insubordination while he was still Energy minister and the latter’s appeal to Makerere was seen as an attempt to get back at his former colleague.
Makerere’s declaration should bring to an end attempts by the Appointments Committee of Parliament to recommend for Eng. Onek’s sacking over allegations that he claimed to have completed his degree at Makerere.
Mr Namoah wrote that Eng. Onek, “attained the following academic qualifications: Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering, Masters of Science in Civil Engineering majoring in Hydrology and Hydro-power structural Engineering from Moscow, Master of Business Administration - Makerere University and a post graduate certificate in Investment appraisal and Management from Harvard.”
Eng. Onek yesterday acknowledged that he dropped out of his first degree course at Makerere but denied claiming to have completed the course. He said: “That is politics at play. How would I teach at Makerere without them verifying whether I carry genuine academic papers?” he said.
“But what is happening now is as a result of a mistake in the Seventh Parliament when a clerk in-charge of data mistook my admission at Makerere as having obtained a Bachelor’s degree. I explained but the directory had been printed and this is the cause of all this but it has been corrected,” Eng. Onek said.