Kampala varsity students battle anxiety as court verdict looms

Kampala varsity students battle anxiety as court verdict looms
A section of South Sudanese students pitching camp at Kampala University main campus over graduation drama. [Photo: Sheila Ponnie]

Continuing students at Kampala University – Juba campus are anxiously waiting for a court ruling that could have grave impact on their lives.

The university’s administration in Uganda, last month, June barred over 350 students from graduating, a move that escalated into the courtrooms.

Nyak Simon Lieth, an undergraduate student pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Mass Communication in Juba said even though they were on holiday he would not continue with his studies at the university until the case of those who missed graduation is determined. 

“It doesn’t make sense because if you study for almost four years and by the end of the day you don’t graduate. We don’t like being cheated because we respect our national interest and also want South Sudanese to be respected either regionally or internationally,” Nyak lamented.

“This has caused fear to the people who have not yet completed their studies. This is a general issue that is affecting all the students. And it needs an immediate solution. Until that court ruling is finalised we are not interested to continue studies when there is an ongoing case in the court of law.”

He urged the Ministry of Higher Education and the government of South Sudan to swiftly intervene to bring a lasting solution to issues related to irregularities and scams in the education sector.

“In 2017, 2018 and 2019 there were graduations where Juba Campus was also included in Kampala. We told him, how comes that in 2022, we are not included and the letter that you are telling us was written in January 2017,’’ Achuoth said the reply was unfriendly,” said one of the students.

Hearing pushed

The final hearing is set for August 11, 2022, because on July 11, 2022, the university lawyer told the court that he was not ready.

 “We went to the court and the court told us that the hearing will be on July 11, 2022. So, there now we formed a committee of six members plus three backups, a total of nine. On 11 of this month, the process started and the court decided to make another hearing on 17 August 2022. The final hearing will be on 17 August. This is what we are waiting for now,” he added.

When contacted yesterday, Timon Kenyi, the Deputy Guild President of Kampala University, Juba Campus yesterday said he would not give any statement until they discuss with the Guild President and the ministers in a joint statement on their demands as the continuing students.

 “Now what I can tell you is that I need to get into contact with my Guild President and the rest of the ministers, so that we can give you a detailed report of exactly what is happening and what we are doing to find the lasting solution to the problem,” Kenyi stated.