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Nawangwe says probe against ‘Among exam’ will still go on

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Makerere University Vice Chancellor Prof Barnabas Nawangwe during an interview with Daily Monitor at his office in Kampala on July 20, 2022. PHOTO | FRANK BAGUMA 

The Vice Chancellor of Makerere University, Prof Barnabas Nawangwe, insists that the institution will continue with its investigations into the ‘Speaker Among exam paper’ that they think fell below their standards.

Prof Nawangwe yesterday said despite the Speaker wondering why the lecturers of the law school are being investigated for setting an exam paper that depicted real House proceedings and real names, including herself, Makerere’s inquest is about quality assurance.

“The Speaker is free to comment on the matter, but Makerere is investigating the quality of the examination paper. It is Makerere quality assurance action,” he said.

Prof Nawangwe in a May 15 letter tasked Dr Ronald Naluwairo, the acting principal of the School of Law, “to call an emergency meeting of the School Academic Board to investigate the [Principles of Constitutional Law II] paper.”

But on May 22, Ms Among in a post shared on microblogging site X, said as Parliament, they welcome public scrutiny, which, she said, is a pillar upon which a strong representative Parliament is founded.

“....I hold the view that this is a free society in which freedom of expression is guaranteed and sacrosanct, including academic freedom promoted under Article 29 (1) (b) which protects academic freedom,” Ms Among stated.

However, Ms Among was quick to say the examiners are duty-bound to give the proper context of what exactly transpired in the House.

“I, therefore, find no fault in the exam set for the students and I believe our duty will be to give the students unbiased context on what exactly happened during the sitting in issue, so that, as academicians, they form their own opinion on the conduct of public affairs and how they will improve them when it is their turn to be in charge,” she said.

Dr Kabumba Busingye together with Prof Joe Oloka-Onyango teach Constitutional Law at Makerere University School of Law. Core to the exam was that Speaker Among, who was projected to have been stung by the recent sanctions imposed against her by the UK, vowed to deal with those writing malicious reports about her.

The examiner(s), further in the case study, project the Speaker to be trying to mount a fight back via a “Speaker’s Bill” that she introduced in the House.

The said Bill allegedly contained several provisions such as no person shall adversely comment on the office of the Speaker and particularly about the person of Anita Among; and any person who violates the above provision commits an offense against the people of Uganda and is liable to a five-year jail sentence on conviction.

The parliamentary case study goes on to note that LoP Joel Besekezi Ssenyonyi stood up and protested the new Bill introduced by the Speaker and its process. The case study goes on to show that when Mr Ssenyonyi persisted with his protest, he was expelled from the House by the Speaker. The said Bill was passed into law despite a lack of quorum before being assented to by President Museveni.

At the end of the case study, the examiner/s tasked the students to highlight constitutional law issues raised.