Makerere Lecturer Gets Death Threats

A lecturer at Makerere University is living in fear, after he received what he sees as death threats from students, who failed his paper.

Michael Walimbwa, from the college of Education and External Studies, has been warned his family members will be harmed if he does not overturn retakes he issued to 55 students. In an anonymous letter dated October 19, the authors want Walimbwa to pass students who scored between 45 per cent and 49 per cent in the last academic year.

Failure to attain the 50 per cent pass mark means the students will not be part of Makerere University’s 65th graduation, slated to take place early 2015. In the letter, the students warn Walimbwa that failure to comply, “just wait for what happens to your family.”

The chairperson of Makerere University Academic Staff Association, Dr Muhammad Kiggundu, told The Observer on November 5 that the threats were real.

“A number of our students own guns and this is something we are concerned about,” he said, adding that Walimbwa was not the first to receive such threats.

Kiggundu said a meeting involving heads of department, school deans and the college leadership would be held to discuss the threats. But the vice chancellor, Prof John Ddumba-Ssentamu, told The Observer yesterday that he was not aware of the threats, adding that the police would be called in.

“That’s a police matter and police should be able to help,” Ddumba-Ssentamu said.

Asked how the university could nip the practice in the bud, Prof Ddumba-Ssentamu said: “Our students need to be counselled and helped to behave well.”

Source : The Observer

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