Makerere investigates parody of Speaker in Law exam

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Makerere investigates parody of Speaker in Law exam
Speaker Anita Among has been sanctioned by the UK and US

BREAKING | Makerere University has instituted an investigation into the conduct of School of Law second semester examinations that parodied the Speaker of Parliament.

The Nile Post has been reliably informed that Vice Chancellor Barnabas Nawangwe last week asked the University Senate for guidance on the conduct of examining students using a deeply satirical essay that is said to have "raised concerns".

The Principal of the School of Law, Dr Ronald Naluwairo, is understood to have admitted the concerns but has defended the conduct of the examination of course unit L1210 - Principles of Constitutional Law II - that First Year students in the second semester wrote on May 11.

He also protested the directive to investigate exams, calling it an "onslaught on academic freedom" and "retrogressive".

It remains unclear if there were any official complaints about the ethical grounding of the examination but both Prof Nawangwe and Dr Naluwairo are understood to have received concerns over the parody.

"Telling you to investigate is not an infringement on your academic freedom," Prof Nawangwe reportedly told the Law school principal.

"You must moderate your exams."

However, Dr Naluwairo maintained the decision was on the clouds and protested "the attack on their academic freedom" as enshrined in the Constitution.

"The only standard required of the examinations is that they are moderated, and this was met," Dr Naluwayo reportedly told VC Nawangwe in his report.

"The School of Law stands by its examination as ethical, adequate and meeting the standards of Makerere University."

In the controversial exam, the School of Law challenged its First Year students on current affairs but using a satirical essay that shows Speaker Anita Among fighting back the recent UK government sanctions.

"Stung by the recent sanctions imposed against her by the government of the United Kingdom (UK) and the Social Media criticism which followed, Speaker of Parliament, Rt. Hon. Anita Annet Among has decided to fight back against those "writing malicious reports" about her," the essay says.

"Thus, on Monday, May 6th, 2024, she introduced what she called a "Speaker's Bill" entitled the "Anti-Social Media and Other Imperialist Agents Bill," which contains the following provisions, inter alia."

The parody lists clauses from the fictitious Bill, including a ban on adverse comment on the office of the Speaker of Parliament, and in particular on the person of Anita Annet Among, and empowers the speaker to make recommendations to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) on which individuals to be charged under the law.

Asking the students to be succinct and well thought-out in their answers, the examiner further parodied the speaker's exchange with the Leader of the Opposition - who had taken issues with the draconian Bill.

"You Joelo; shut up. Are you one of those bum-shafters who is after my life? I am the Speaker of the Parliament of Uganda, Queen of Bukedea and Conqueress of the British Empire: In this House I can do whatever I please," the fictitious essay adds.

The Speaker then takes the Bill to President Museveni for assent. In response, the President told the Speaker, "This is a very good Bill; it only misses specific mention of me as the Fountain of Honour, Maama Janet, the First Lady and all my children: let me add that clause in and sign."

The Bill was duly amended and declared to have come into force on January 26, 1986.

The cuff on the essay is that the DPP immediately institutes charges against Dr Johhny Spear and Agana Agana - two Social Media activists who organised the 2nd Social Media Parliamentary Exhibition that concluded in March this year, in which they criticised the speaker's "profligate spending" and "lack of sexual mores."

The students were asked to discuss all the Constitutional Law issues raised by in the fictitious essay, as well as to critically assess the implications of the directives such as by the President to the rule of law, democratic governance and constitutionalism.

The fictitious essay also parodied the Shs500 million service award to former Leader of the Opposition Mathias Mpuuga as well as the appointment of Gen Muhoozi Kainerugaba as Chief of Defence Forces.

The Nile Post has contacted Prof Nawangwe about the directive to investigate the conduct of the examination written by first year Law students.

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