Last week, about 300 South Sudanese students who completed their studies from the Juba-based Kampala University students staged a peaceful protest after they were denied graduation – a decision that has not yet been justified.
They accused Badru Dungu Kateregga, the University Vice Chancellor of what they call a betrayal. The students said they have been fooled into paying their tuition for years at the controversial Kampala University of South Sudan.
The tuition were allegedly paid via the University’s account at the Number One Charter Bank in Uganda.However, a few days into the graduation ceremony, the VC reportedly made an abrupt announcement that he closed the Juba branch.
Sarah Akuot, a member of protesting students’ committee said they are calling on the Ugandan High Court to put the graduation on hold until the final verdict is reached.
“The Vice Chancellor Mr. Kateregga is still standing on his ground, that he is not going to graduate any one of students at the Juba branch which he said he closed,
“So we have taken legal action we open two cases in Uganda high court the first case about denied us graduation other case to stop the graduation without us,” Sarah told Eye Radio from Kampala. The graduation is slated for Thursday this week.
Last week, one of the students, who is the current Police Spokesperson of Northern Bahr el Ghazal State said he had gone to Kampala for graduation, only to be informed he and his Juba-based colleagues are not part of this year’s graduating class.
Guot Guot Akol and his colleagues are accusing the University Vice Chancellor of denying them the chance to graduate, after studying for years and wasting their resources on academic requirements.The Juba branch of Kampala University has been mired with uncertainties and controversies over its legitimacy.
Last year, the Chairman of the Economic Cluster sub-committee on non-oil revenues, wrote to the Minister of Higher Education to close the Kampala and Christian universities of Juba, alleging that they are operating illegally.“If a university like the Kampala University is not registered and it is still continuing operating in South Sudan, this is unbecoming,” said Onyoti Adigo at the time.
Kampala University administration reportedly maintains that the graduation will proceed without the Juba students, and Eye Radio understands the court has not issued a statement on the case.