Seats chaos as guests overwhelm Makerere

Parents at Freedom Square after missing seats on the fourth day of the 73rd graduation ceremony at Makerere University. PHOTO | FRANK BAGUMA

What you need to know:

Parents and guests of graudands miss seats at the fourth day of Makerere University’s 73rd graduation ceremony, which the institution blames on breach of guidelines.

Graduands and their parents yesterday missed seats at Makerere University’s 73rd graduation ceremony.

This was because many graduands brought in more guests than the two permitted per graduand.

Students from Makerere University Business School (Mubs), alongside their parents, stood throughout the ceremony, which lasted for about five hours. The mostly aged parents, who could not stand for long had to find comfort in the grass.

According to the rules, each graduand was permitted to attend the ceremony with only two invited guests, who are either parents or guardians.

The university Vice Chancellor, Prof Barnabas Nawangwe, attributed this shortage on granduands who he said did not follow the graduation guidelines. 

“It is a perennial problem. Mubs students are always accompanied by up to five visitors instead of two,” Prof Nawangwe said.

Whereas granduands were not happy that their parents were not able to find where to sit, parents were happy to witness their children graduate.

Ms Magdalena Nassolo, one of the parents, said her child brought four guests.

“I will not blame the university for this. I blame ourselves for coming with more people who were not invited. We were supposed to come two people but my child brought four of us,” Ms Nassolo said.

She, however, said the university could have respected the parents and served them with some soda since they paid a lot of money to the university in form of tuition fees and other charges.

Sources from management, who did not want to be quoted, said the management usually plans for invited guests.

“When the graduation started on Monday, a graduand who came with more than two parents saw the extra parents turned away by security officers at the check points. But as graduation comes close to completion, restrictions tend to loosen. I am sure some graduands brought in more guests,” one source said.

Improve economy

Away from the seat chaos, Prof Nawangwe asked the graduands to use the knowledge they have attained from the university to improve economy of Uganda.

“As graduates of Mubs, you occupy a special place in Uganda’s development agenda. It is you who must ensure that our businesses are run on sound business principles, and that our products find global markets to grow the economy. Please remember that mission always,” Prof Nawangwe said.

The graduation, which kicked off on Monday, ends today with students from the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, and College of Engineering, Design, Art and Technology.