Sadab Kittata Kaaya
Sembabule Woman MP Anifa Kawooya has threatened to sue Nkumba University if it cancels her degrees. The Observer has learnt that the university Senate, acting on a letter from the National Council for Higher-education (NCHE) resolved to revoke Kawaooya’s degrees.
The NCHE letter, dated September 3, 2010, also asked Nkumba University to withdraw the degree it awarded to former Bukoto South MP Muyanja Mbabaali.
In 2005, Mbabaali got a degree in Business Administration, while Kawooya graduated in Development Studies and later a master’s degree in International Relations from the same university.
“We have verified the academic qualifications on which their admission to Nkumba University was based and concluded that these qualifications were not authentic,” the NCHE letter reads in part.
Whereas no immediate action was taken by the university, Mbabaali’s degree was nullified by Justice Owiny Dollo in September 2011, while delivering his judgment in an election petition in the High court at Masaka. Trouble for Kawooya was started by her rival Joy Kabatsi, who lost the Sembabule Woman MP race in 2011. Kabatsi, who recently launched her 2016 election bid, reportedly used Justice Dollo’s judgment to petition Nkumba University.
Now, in an April 19 letter to the Nkumba University Academic registrar, Kawooya warned the university against going ahead to investigate the authenticity of her academic documents, which have been cleared by “all competent arms of investigation and justice system.”
“Should you dare cancel our client’s degree which she genuinely acquired, we have strict instructions to institute civil proceedings against you and the university,” reads the letter from Kawooya’s lawyers Ntambwireki, Kandeebe and Company Advocates.
Kawooya claims to hold an O-level certificate from Kigezi High School, obtained in 1993, a diploma in Business Administration obtained in 1991 from Kampala Business Institute, another diploma in Project Planning and Management which was awarded to her by the National Chamber of Commerce and Industry in 1998. She also holds another diploma in Business Administration from Management and Business Skills College, and a degree in Public Administration she obtained in 2001 from Knight Bridge University – UK.
However, the NCHE dismissed these documents when Kawooya presented them ahead of the 2011 elections, a decision she later challenged in the Constitutional court. Not done, Kabatsi petitioned the police, and Inspector General of Government (IGG) to further investigate Kawooya’s documents.
The inspectorate is yet to release the outcome of its probe, while a criminal case Kabatsi had registered with the police, received a heavy blow on October 15, 2012. Vicky Nabiseke, an officer in the Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP), advised the police to ensure the case was “closed and put away in safe custody for lack of evidence.”
Should the university revoke Kawooya’s academic documents, it could expose her to a new legal challenge, once again threatening her stay in Parliament.
This article was written by Sadab Kittata Kaaya and originally published on Observer