Law Students Graduate

Ms Lornah Afoyomungu Olum the best performing female law student in 2017 was honored by The Association of Female Lawyers (FIDA Uganda) during the 68th graduation ceremony held at the freedom square on the 19th of January 2018. Ms. Alum who scored a CGPA of 3.87 received a plaque and a cash prize of Five Hundred Thousand Shillings as a token of appreciation for her excellent performance. 

The award, the second of its kind by FIDA was issued in collaboration with Makerere University Convocation with a call on more professional associations to come up and recognize excellent performance in their fields of specialty.

The fourth and last sessions of the 68th graduation ceremony comprised of graduands from The School of Law, College of Humanities and Social Sciences and College of Engineering, Design, Art and Technology.

During the event, Makerere University honored Mrs. Winnie Madikizela Mandela with one of its most prestigious awards, the Honorary Doctorate of Laws (Honoris Causa) a function performed by the Chancellor, Prof. Ezra Suruma.  Mrs. Winnie Mandela was represented by her niece, Ms. Gandhi Baai, accompanied by a delegation led by the South African High Commissioner to Uganda, Prof. Maj. Gen. (Rtd) Lekoa Solly Mollo. Ms. Gandhi Baai is herself a strong advocate for women’s rights and a vehement Pan-Africanist, determined to tell the positive African story and has published several titles on this theme. She has travelled and worked widely in Africa.

In a message from the President of the Republic of Uganda, Gen. Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, presented by the Minister of Public Service, Hon. Wilson Muruli Mukasa, he congratulated Mrs. Mandela upon her achievement, noting that the Mandela family had given their all to Africa and deserved recognition. “The Mandela family gave their all for Africa. They have no debt with Africa. They contributed to the achievement of emancipation, democracy and some steps toward economic integration in the form of SADC.  I am sure Mzee Mandela would have done more if he had had more time. It is now you and me to do what Mwalimu Nyerere, Mandela, Nkrumah, Sekou Toure, Modibo Keita, Walter Sisulu, Oliver Thambo, Patrice Lumumba, IK Musaazi and other freedom fighters did not do to insure Africa from the threats of foreign domination,” he said.

While addressing the graduands, The President emphasized the need for them to be job creators rather than job seekers. “The onus is upon you to use the skills acquired in the course of your education to create employment for yourselves and others who have not been lucky to acquire formal education. I have on several occasions heard graduates complaining about lack of jobs and I have been very disappointed. A University graduate is supposed to be enterprising and should indeed be in position to complement government efforts in creating employment for the citizenry. Short of that, there is no reason we should pay for you fees to go to school. Much as the government is doing everything possible to reduce unemployment, it is impossible to satisfactorily employ everyone in the public service sector. I caution you to be enterprising; that way we can achieve our goal of being a middle income country,” he said.                               

In his remarks at the event, the Chancellor Prof. Ezra Suruma implored the graduands to be innovative to find solutions to the many problems facing humanity. “The world needs creative minds that can find solutions to the milliard problems humanity faces. The future belongs to creators and innovators. The products and movements that control the world today were not there yesterday when I graduated with my first degree. Google was not there. Apple was not there. Microsoft was not there. All that has changed! The innovations of the last several decades now dominate the global culture and economy. The innovations that will govern our future will not come as much from our government as they will from the people. If we continue to expect innovations to come from our government we shall fall further and further behind,” he said.

The Vice Chancellor of Makerere University, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe, congratulated the graduands and their parents as well as guardians upon the noble achievement. He urged the students to use the critical thinking skills acquired in the course of their training to create jobs. “You are going out to the world, which expects a lot from you. We have trained you to be critical thinkers and not mere job seekers. Go out and create the jobs the country is yearning for. With a degree from one of the best universities in the world, there is no reason for not succeeding. As you struggle to find your place in society, you might stumble and fall, but always have the courage to stand up and try again with dignity,” he advised. 

To expedite the issuance of transcripts, the Vice Chancellor said the University Central Management had decentralized the process to Colleges. “Students that have fulfilled all the requirements for graduation can pick their transcripts from their respective College Registrars as soon as after graduation.” 

The Vice Chancellor appealed to the general public to support the various fundraising drives being undertaken to improve Makerere University. He specifically called on everyone to participate in the MAKRUN scheduled to take place on 25th March, 2018. The funds accruing from the Run will be used to construct the Student’s Centre, one of the inaugural projects of Makerere University Endowment Fund. He also appealed for financial support towards the construction of the Perimeter Wall and the Centre for Performing Arts.

During the 68th graduation ceremony held on 16th-19th January, 2018, a total of 14,085 students were awarded degrees and diplomas in various disciplines. Of these, 71 received PhDs, 996 Masters Degrees, 96 Postgraduate Diplomas, 144 undergraduate diplomas and 12,778 Bachelor’s Degrees.  Among these were 7,118 females constituting 50.5% and 6,967 male at 49.5%.

By Harriet Musinguzi