Kampala, Uganda | URN | The issue raised by city lawyer Male Mabirizi questioning the age of former Presidential candidate Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu alias Bobi Wine has taken a new twist.
This is after newly released academic documents indicate that Mr Kyagulanyi was admitted to Makerere University for a Diploma in Music, Dance and Drama on Mature Age Entry when he was not yet technically mature nor qualified for that program.
It all started when Mabirizi wrote to Makerere University demanding for Mr Kyagulanyi’s records to prove when exactly he was born after several documents of his had revealed discrepancies on the exact year he was born. Some records had 1980 while others had 1982.
But after providing Mabirizi with the said documents, he again on December 22, 2020 wrote to the Academic Registrar of Makerere University Alfred Namoah Masikye demanding for the Policy/Rules pertaining to admission of students on mature age entry as of the year 2000, the same year when Mr Kyagulanyi was admitted.
“I am in receipt of your letter dated 11th December 2020 in which you availed me certified copies of some academic documents of Kyagulanyi Ssentamu Robert Registration number 00/U/3223.
It adds “Upon going through the documents, I discovered that born on 12th February 1980, the student sat and passed University Mature Age Entry Examination held on 3rd March, 2000 for entry into the course of Diploma in Music, Dance and Drama on which basis he was admitted.”
According to Mabirizi, “…this raised eyebrows given that it is contrary to the long-standing publicly known policy that mature entry examinations are only sat by individuals above 25 years of age”.
He added that Mr Kyagulanyi who had sat his A ‘level in November-December 1998 had probably failed to get government sponsorship due to his alleged poor grades.
“On the face of it, he must have committed several offenses and fraud especially that he enjoyed Government Sponsorship based on mature age entry to which he was not qualified.”
As such, Mabirizi wrote that he was going to pursue what he described as criminality to the tail end before asking Makerere University to be given the University Policy on Mature Age as the year 2000 where Mr Kyagulanyi sat for his exams. He said he was to institute criminal proceedings against Mr Kyagulanyi for that wrong doing.
However, in the latest response given by the Academic Registrar of Makerere University Masikye which has been attached to his letter dated March 12 2021, the University Prospectus 1999/2000- 2000/2001 shows that the mature age entry then was at least 25 years old.
It reads ” The Mature Age Entry Scheme, candidates who are at least 25 years old and who completed formal education at least five years previous to the year of admission, may apply to sit the mature age examinations. Formal education excludes training at post-secondary institutions. It is defined as Primary and Secondary education. Those who are successful, in both the written and the oral examination, are then considered for admission.”
Other records attached to the letter by Masikye also is a Registration form leading to his admission which is dated and signed by Mr Kyagulanyi on October 20th 2000.
The form also indicates that Kyagulanyi was born on February 12th 1980 and studied from Kololo Senior Secondary School and Kitante Hill School, meaning that by the time he was admitted, he was 20 years of age and neither had he finished formal education five years prior to his admission.
The two paged certified form also indicates that Mr Kyagulanyi’s Diploma was sponsored by the Government of Uganda.
Trouble for Mr Kyagulanyi started in 2020 when he declared his interest to stand for Presidency, the top most political office in the country. Accordingly, Mabirizi who describes himself as an ardent believer of the rule of law tried to search for his academic papers arguing that the country has suffered with the current President Yoweri Museveni whose age and academic documents have been difficult to trace.
He then found information on the Parliament Website showing that Mr Kyagulanyi the former Kyadondo East MP was born on February 12, 1982, and another before the Ministry of Internal Affairs showing that in March 2000, Mr Kyagulanyi was 18 years yet evidence showed that he was 20 years old then.
According to Mabirizi, this meant that Mr Kyagulanyi was born in 1982, completed primary level of education at nine years, lower secondary at 13 years and advanced level at 16.
Following these discrepancies, Mabirizi doubted whether Mr Kyagulanyi studied primary one at just two years.
Mabirizi then privately instituted criminal charges against Mr Kyagulanyi in Wakiso and Buganda Road courts for giving false information. But, the Directorate of Public Prosecutions has since taken over the case. This was after High Court Judge Wilson Kwesiga on October 16th 2020 upholding the lower court’s decision to allow DPP take over proceedings.
However, during his presidential campaigns, Mr Kyagulanyi admitted to doctoring his age, saying it was done by his father to enable him to sit for the Primary Leaving Exams after being helped to skip primary six.
Mr Kyagulanyi added that in March 2000 he later swore an affidavit to correct the said anomaly.
This matter of Mr Kyagulanyi’s age has since reached the East African Court of Justice where Mabirizi is challenging the High Court’s decision to allow the DPP take over the matter.
Mabirizi right now wants Mr Kyagulanyi’s Diploma recalled.