1,992 new students have been registered

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Students of the Faculty of Social Sciences being inducted during the service in Nkoyoyo Hall on September 22 (Photo by Bright Niwaha)

BY DOREEN KAJERU AND AGATHA MUHAISE

This Advent Semester, Uganda Christian University has registered 1,992 new students. Of these, 1,644 were admitted for the undergraduate programmes at Mukono campus while 264 were admitted at Kampala campus.

Eighty-four students were admitted for postgraduate studies, and a total of 3,424 continuing students have been recorded in the registration of the new and continuing students that started on August 31.

Mrs Christa Oluka, the Admissions and Students’ Records manager, has informed The Standard that this semester’s student registration shows a 0.7% increase in the expected number of students registered, compared to last year, September.”

The undergraduate courses have registered students in the faculties of Business and Administration, Health Sciences, Social Sciences, Science and Technology, Law, Education and Arts and the Bishop Tucker School of Divinity and Theology.

Postgraduate students have registered in all the faculties except Law.

 

The induction

On the September 22, these new students were inducted at Nkoyoyo Hall, Mukono campus.

During the service, Dr John Senyonyi, the vice chancellor of UCU, delivered a sermon entitled “Intellect as God’s image in me” drawn from Genesis 1:26-31.

Senyonyi took his congregation back to the beginning, when God made man in his own image. He said that unlike animals, people have a spiritual, moral, relational, physical and most importantly intellectual likeness to God.

“It is because of this replicationthatwehave an incalculable worth as human beings, and that is why abortion is evil, because it fails to acknowledge the image of God in whatever form it may be,” Senyonyi explained.

He told the students that the intellectual element in humans is the reason they are at the university and their duty is to sharpen it.

“The worst thing you can do is to send your intellect to sleep by engaging in acts that do not build it, like alcoholism,” he told the gathering that included freshmen, continuing students, deans of faculties and heads of various departments.

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Two arrested for defrauding students

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From left: Herman Okia and Andrew Geoffrey Lwanga (Photos by Bright Niwaha)

By Agatha Muhaise

Two men were arrested on September 26 by the Uganda Christian University (UCU) Police for allegedly collecting money from students promising to assist them clear their retakes.

The two, Andrew Geoffrey Lwanga, a cleaner at Maybach Bar and Restaurant, and Herman Okia, a former Information Technology student of UCU and manager of Maybach Bar and Restaurant, were posing as university staff.

They convinced up to four desperate students that they had a way of enabling them clear their retakes and be able to graduate in October.

According to the police, the students were being asked to pay Shs400,000 per retake. Lwanga was picked up from Satellite Beach, after Mr Herman Mukiibi, a lecturer in Foundation Studies, tipped off the police about the scam.

Earlier, Mr Mukiibi had been informed of the conmen’s activities by a friend of one of the students who fell victim to the scam.Later the police also picked up Herman Okia from his work place.

Victims speak out

Cynthia Tracy Umahoro, a Mass Communication student at UCU, reported that on September 20, she was called by a man who identified himself as Andrew Lwanga. The caller claimed to work with the Information Technology department of UCU, and he had details about the student’s performance.

“He promised to make the retakes go away if I was willing to pay Shs400,000 for each paper. We agreed to meet at Star Gardens for further discussions and payment,” Umahoro said.

“I went with a friend, Lillian Rukundo, also a student of Mass Communication, for the meeting. My friend had three retakes and figured she could also use Lwanga’s ‘magic’ services.”

“Lwanga had a list of names of students with retakes, and their contacts. This

convinced us and we were willing to pay a down payment for the process to begin.”

She adds that she sent Shs250,000 to Lwanga, and Lillian Rukundo agreed to pay Shs200,000 as advance payment for the services.

Hope Atwine, also a student of Mass Communication at UCU, claims that she was called by Lwanga with the offer to make the retakes go away.

“With a total of three retakes, I had to raise Shs1.2 million, but that is a lot of money. So I negotiated with Lwanga. He reduced the charges and I gave him an advance of Shs50,000. I handed over the money during a meeting at Satellite Beach, Mukono,” Atwine said.

She adds that in subsequent days she also received nagging calls from Lwanga, asking for the balance of the fees.

Confessions

When Lwanga was interrogated by Mr John Bahemuka Toa, the UCU legal officer, and Mr Charles Nahamya, the head of security at UCU, he said that the mastermind of the operation was his manager, Herman Okia.

Okia took advantage of the information that his friend (Cynthia Tracy Umahoro) had narrated to him about his retakes. He then told me that Umahoro would call me soon, and we would get money out of the scam.

“I met with all the victims, received money from them and shared it with Okia,” he said.

Lwanga added that the scam went bad for them when one Scovia Auma called him and said she was willing to pay Shs1 million for the same services.

“At our meeting at Satellite, Auma came with a male friend who kept on asking questions about the process, which I could not answer. That is when another man was called in and I was arrested,” Lwanga said.

Herman Okia, however, tells a contradicting tale. “I told Lwanga about a girl I met at a party last year, who has retakes and may drop out of school. I did not con anyone although I received some of the money that Lwanga got out of this deal,” he said.

Bahemuka Toa said there are clear outlined procedures on how to deal with such situations. “There are no short-cuts whatsoever. We are here to protect the academic quality of the university and anyone who compromises that will face the full extent of the law.”

By press time, efforts by The Standard to reach Mr Mukiibi, who filed the case with police under file number SD12/26/09/2016, were futile.

The accused have since been released on police bond, after they made a written agreement promising to pay back the money to the defrauded students soon.

Career outreach programme bears fruit

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How did you get to know about Uganda Christian University? (Graph by Career Development and Placement office)

BY AGATHA MUHAISE

Eleven percent of the first-year students that joined the university this semester found out about it through the career outreach programmes, a survey carried out by the Uganda Christian University (UCU) Career Development and Placement office at the main campus, Mukono, has said.

The career development office has been conducting outreaches in secondary schools countrywide since 2014. Although none was conducted in 2015, they resumed in 2016 between March and August. The survey was done to find out the impact of the programme.

“From a sample size of 500 first-year students who were asked a series of questions including howtheyfoundoutabout UCU, it shows that the outreaches impacted 56 of the 500 test subjects to come to UCU,” reads the report from the Career Development and Placement Officer, Connie Musisi, in part.

“Career outreach and exhibitions came in fourth place to other sources like friends and relatives, students and staff of UCU; and the media (radio, television and newspapers) respectively,” the survey says.

Ms Musisi informed The Standard that the outreach was a success.

“Given that the careers office has been in place for three years and we have done only two outreaches, the fact that we captured that many students is a bigsuccess for us,” she said.

Mr Alex Taremwa, one ofthecontributorsto the university outreach programme, said that the programme is aimed at improving the corporate social responsibility endeavours of the institution by extending career guidance to students in upper level secondary schools.

“The 2016 outreach ran under the theme ‘Making Hostilic Career Choices’ in different districts around Uganda such as Arua, Koboko, Bushenyi, Mbarara,Kabale,Gulu, Oyam, Lira, Mbale, Kapchwora, among others,” Taremwa said.

Some of the topics covered included drug abuse, sex education, health and hygiene, career development and academics. The Standard has learnt will be launched next topics than the previous that the next session of year. This will be one, in a bid to reach more the outreach programme packaged with more students countrywide.

Is the medicine your taking prescribed

page-11BY AGATHA MUHAISE

Ms Kyaligonza Betty, the receptionist at Allan Galpin health Centre, says that nearly half of the student body has no record of seeking medical care from the health centre. Following his interesting information, The Standard carried out a survey in the UCU community, asking people whether they would visit Allan Galpin or buy paracetamol to treat a headache.

Ninety percent of the respondents said they would go buy painkillers. When it was pointed out to them that the services of Allan Galpin are free, 60 percent still said they would only go to the clinic if the painkillers did not work, after prolonged use.

Dr Geoffrey Rwabaingi Mulindwa, the director of medical services at UCU, says that self-medication is when one feels unwell, skips the process of seeking medical help from a qualified medical professional, hazards a guess at the problem and administers medication accessed over the counter.

“A person is supposed to get a prescription from a technician and medicine will be dispensed accordingly,” Mulindwa said.

Causes of self-medication

“When you go to Allan Galpin, you queue to see the doctor and then queue again to get your prescription.

In the process you are exposed to more diseases than you went to the clinic with,” one of the respondents said. Such a person, a member of the ‘microwave generation’, only focuses on the time spent to access medical care, ignoring the benefits.

On 24 July 2016, WBS Television released a report showing that patients were opting for self-medication due to the high consultation fees charged in hospitals and health centers. These can be as high as Shs50,000 in private health centers.

Legal framework

The ease with which all types of medicine are accessed in drug shops also fuels the habit. Imelda Tumuhaise a retired nurse says that a drug shop should be run by a qualified nurse, midwife, medical assistant or a doctor before it is issued with a practicing license.

However, the custom is that these qualified personnel only sign as the custodians for the licence, and hand over the business to anyone else to run. This leaves many unqualified people dispensing drugs to patients.

Tumuhaise said that the national district drug inspector inspects the drug shops before they commence business, and every once a year afterwards, exacerbating the problem. The drugs need to be kept under specific temperatures and conditions, is inspection once a year enough to ensure compliance.

Attitude issues

Tumuhaise further said that individuals go to the drug shop with a decision on the medicine they want. “Such people do not follow medical personnel’s advice. They often think that because of former successful usage., they qualify for the same treatment. They even go ahead to prescribe the same to others with similar symptoms,” she said.

Dr Mulindwa said that people have a deceptive tradition of ‘the end justifies the means’, forgetting that they are now treating symptoms and not the cause of the disease. So, next time you feel tempted to reach for the non-prescribed pain killers, consider paying a visit to the health centre for professional advice

Students advised on making tough relationship choices

BY AGATHA MUHAISE

“Is your relationship drawing you closer to God, or drawing you away from God in pursuit for status?”

Pastor Nick Korir challenged students to reflect on the above statement, in his adress during the Advent semester Relationship Week.

Korir, the Youth Pastor at Nairobi Chapel in Kenya, asked the students to step out of fake relationships that plunge them into bottomless pits ofreplacingtruelovefor lust, infatuation and sex.

“The devil has managed to plant a seed of doubt in the youth, driving them to doubt their competence to preserve a relationship with ethics of virginity and abstinence.

This forces them to take on desperate measures, with the lie that the guidelines set in the Bible are limitations to your freedom. Do not believe such lies but commit to making tough choices for your good,”he told the students at Uganda Christian University (UCU), Mukono.

The theme of the week was ‘Tough Choices Galatians 6:7-8’. The focus was on the decisions that youth make in managing relationships in their lives. These included paying attention to one’s inner beauty, lost innocence, sexuality, balancing academics and relationships, and wise living, among others

The vice chancellor, Dr John Senyonyi and his wife Ruth tackled the session on lost innocence in relationships. “Sexuality is a gift from God for pleasure and propagation,” the VC said, explaining that it is

UCU in Rotary club charity run

BY AGATHA MUHAISE

The Rotary club of Uganda Christian University (UCU) is organising a charity run and sports gala. The event is set to take place on September 24, 2016 at the main football pitch in Mukono.

The Managing Director and CEO of Vision Group, Mr Robert Kabushenga, will officiate the ceremony and Mr Lawrence Mulindwa, the former president of the Federation of Uganda Football Associations (FUFA) is expected to attend. Festivities will begin in the morning with one and two kilometer runs. The participants of the run will pay Shs 10,000 for a ticket. Other games will include football, volleyball, netball, basketball, pool, video games, sack race, a rope challenge and dodge-ball. The day will be crowned with a concert at 7 pm with performances from artists like Coopy Bly, Pablo and the Homers Poetry club.

Proceedings will go to the orphanage of Little Voices Africa, to assist them acquire basic needs, health care and education. Other funds will be dedicated to the provision of sanitary and hygiene necessities for the Kawuga prison female inmates.

Makerere University, Kampala University, Kampala International University and Ndejje are the other universities expected to take part in the events.