Kampala- Police have arrested one of the owners of Stanford University for allegedly conducting an illegal graduation ceremony.
Police also arrested two staff members of the university.
The university, according to police, has been operating illegally since its licenced was revoked by the National Council for Higher Education (NCHE) in 2018, over various operational weaknesses.
It’s, however, not clear how a university which is not licensed, continued operating.
NCHE had issued a letter blocking the university from conducting the graduation ceremony but the order was defied and ceremony was held late last month.
A source that preferred anonymity said that the graduation ceremony was held at a secret venue.
The Spokesman of the Criminal Investigations Directorate (CID), Mr Charles Twine, confirmed in a telephone interview that they arrested the University’s academic registrar and one administrator who were found at the university’s main campus.
Mr Twine said that the university’s bursar eluded police.
“We did not arrest them only on the basis of conducting an illegal graduation but also for operating illegally. Their license was revoked but they defied the order,” Mr Twine said.
He said that Dr Henry Egesa, one of the directors of the university was detained at CID offices where he had gone to record a statement, following the arrest of his staff members.
Mr Twine said that Mr Egesa said in his statement said that there is an “invisible hand” against him, since one of the former directors started his own campus in Soroti after the five founding directors separated.
“We are going to investigate the Soroti campus which Dr Egesa said is operating with the knowledge of NCHE officials. All campuses of Stanford University are not supposed to operate,” Mr Twine said.
He, however, said that the suspects were released on police bond and are slated to return to CID on Tuesday.
The spokesperson of the NCHE, Mr Saulo Waigolo, however, dismissed reports that the Sororti campus of Stanford University is operating with their knowledge since the council revoked the license of the university.
NCHE in a December, 19, 2018 letter addressed to the vice chancellor of Stanford University, revoked the license of the university.
“This is to inform you that Council during its 48th meeting on 27th August, 2018 revoked your Provisional License. You should cease to operate and should not admit any students,” the letter reads in part.
The license was revoked on grounds of poor governance of the university occasioned by several disagreements among the proprietors which affected the management of the university.
The university was also accused of graduating students who are not qualified, running illegal campuses in Soroti and at Tirupati Mazima Mall in Kabalagala and teaching unaccredited courses.
NCHE also found out that the university had poor financial standing and management was ordered to iron out the problems before re-applying for the license.