Court to Rule On Kampala University, South Sudanese Students’ Graduation Row in August

Court in Uganda will pronounce its final verdict in the ongoing row between Kampala University and its students at the Juba College in August.

On Monday, the court started hearing the case of about 1,000 students denied graduation at the Kampala University main campus last month. 

One of the lawyers defending the students, Stephen Nelson, said on Wednesday that the court had already set a date for the final ruling. 

“The judgment will be delivered on 17 of August,” he said.

Nelson said, “The university raised some preliminary points of law that would lead to the dismissal of the case. One, they informed the court that the students do not have any relationship with them whatsoever. Then the second preliminary point of law is that the students ought to have filed the case in their individual capacities, not jointly. But the court overruled all their preliminary points of law and the court advised all the parties to argue the case on their merit.”

Nelson added that the court also directed the parties to file their written submissions for consideration by the court before the final verdict is made. 

A student representative, Oyiki Cirino Kasiano, said the university lawyers have delayed the ruling as they asked for two weeks to prepare their submissions.

“We were 350 students ready here in Kampala to graduate on 23 June 2022. But in total, we are more than 950. Some still had to clear from the university in Juba and their names were not included. But later, their names were submitted here. That is why the number could be higher,” Cirino said.

After they were denied graduation, the students protested saying they had fulfilled the university’s financial and academic requirements and had a right to graduate. 

Cirino said their fate hangs in the balance as they await the final ruling in August. 

Chol Mawel