Rebecca Munyeretsi (in Blue Tshirt) at Nabweru Court.
The Chief Magistrate’s Court in Nabweru has sentenced 30-year-old Rebecca Munyeretsi, a registered student at St Francis Secondary School also known as Rebecca Munyeza, to two-months in prison or pay a fine of 200,000 shillings for examination malpractice.
On 25 October when senior four candidates were writing their Chemistry examination paper, Munyeretsi hired Asuman Kidawuli to seat for her exams. She allegedly paid 2.5 million to an intermediary aka ‘mercenary’ who is an administrator at the school.
However, this was spotted by a UNEB scout when he found out that Munyeretsi had not written her name on the examination paper and when asked to write the names, she wrote male names of Asuman Kidawuli which created suspicion.
Munyeretsi was arrested but Kidawuli managed to escape from the authorities and police is still hunting for him.
Christian Kibuuka, the grade one magistrate at Nabweru said that there are increased cases of examination malpractice and there is a need for deterrence.
The magistrate said that he has given a lenient sentence to Munyeretsi based on reasons which include the fact that the accused pleaded guilty on her first appearance and did not waste the court’s time.
Moreover Munyeretsi also lost the entire academic year and her parents had already lost money in school fees. Court has also considered the time she has spent on remand and the fact that she is still young (at 30 years in Senior Four) and can reform into a better citizen.
In the same court, Milly Nanteza, 35, the head teacher of St. Francis Secondary School who is accused of aiding and abetting the malpractice pleaded not guilty in her first appearance in court, her case has been adjourned to December 5th for further hearing.
Anna Kemali, the senior legal officer from UNEB said that despite what is in the UNEB act, the court uses its powers to give a sentence according to the circumstances in the case.
She also said that the court should impose a bigger sentence on the head teacher because she is the one who facilitated the impersonation process.
After UNEB intensified the fight against examination leakages to a great extent, there is a trail of evidence indicating that impersonation is developing as the newest, most sophisticated kind of malpractice. The board has so far documented four instances of this type of malpractice occurring in the districts of Butebo, Kagadi, and Kampala this year alone.
Impersonation-related charges have this year resulted in convictions for two individuals so far. On the 21st of October , Amina Nalwadda was found guilty and fined 4.8 million shillings by the Nabweru court for paying for the registration of a senior three boy from St. Janan School to take her niece’s examinations in addition to Munyeretsi, who has been sentenced today.
According to the new UNEB Act, impersonation is a crime punishable by a fine of up to 20 million shillings, or a prison sentence of up to five years, or both.