45 Kyambogo University students have petitioned the Kampala High Court for an interim injunction preventing the college from having its 17th graduation ceremony.
The students, led by Kenneth Masereka, want the graduation, which is set to begin on September 21st and end on September 23rd 2021, to be postponed awaiting the outcome of their lawsuit, in which they are contesting the decision to omit them from the graduating list.
According to the information on their respective student websites administered and controlled by the University, the candidates successfully completed various courses at Kyambogo University and passed all of the subjects they took.
They claim that they prepared for graduation and paid tuition and graduation costs after seeing information on the University Portal indicating that they had passed.
According to the students, between September 7th and 13th, the University, operating through several department heads, released numerous graduation lists that eliminated them for no apparent reason.
“The respondent seeks to arbitrarily gag the students right to education, curtail possible employment opportunities, impose unconstitutional limitations, and blanket abuse of administrative powers that are not acceptably and demonstrably justifiable in a free and democratic society and what is provided for under the constitution and law,” according to the application.
The directives, according to the students, violate a slew of constitutionally guaranteed student rights, including the right to be heard, the presumption of innocence, the right to equality before the law, the right to practice their professions, and the right to fair and just administrative treatment.
“Unless this Honorable Court intervenes, the respondent/Kyambogo University will freeze and stagnate the citizen’s right to education, which is critical to a contemporary country’s progress.
The students, through their lawyers at Joel Cox Advocates, claim that if the court does not suspend next week’s graduation ceremony until their names are corrected on the list, they will suffer irreparable harm.
They also want the court to declare that the decision to remove them from the list is illegal, oppressive, arbitrary, biased, high-handed, unreasonable, and unjust, as well as a violation of their fundamental right to be heard, and hence null and void.
One of the impacted students, Patricia Nansamba, who is seeking a Bachelor’s Degree in Oil and Gas Production, claims that it is not their obligation as students to look for their grades because their responsibility is to pay their school fees, study, and excel.
Reagan Francis Sensalo claims that the University administration instructed them to pay graduation fees, which they paid, but they have yet to appear on the list and have only been offered transcripts.
Kyambogo University stated last month that a system database containing student data was erased online, affecting around 29,000 students, including prospective graduates.
Professor Eli Katunguka, Vice-Chancellor of Kyambogo University, has since expressed optimism that the results and data will be recovered.
The event has also been investigated by the Criminal Investigations Department of the Police.
Next week, about 7,000 students are anticipated to graduate. The matter has not yet been scheduled for a hearing.