Muyanja Mbabaali, the Bukoto South Member of Parliament this morning appeared before at Masaka High to defend his academic papers, a day after National Council for Higher Education described them as forged.
DP secretary general, Mathias Nsubuga, the loser in the Bukoto South Parliamentary elections, filed a petition challenging NRM’s Mbabaali on grounds that he lacks the minimum academic qualifications for a member of parliament.
Nsubuga alleges that Mbabaali forged academic documents from APAS AND SIT International College in Malaysia, to obtain admission for a degree course in Business Administration and Management at Nkumba University.
Nsubuga’s lawyer, Caleb Alaka, cross examined Mbabaali for over five hours asking him to explain how his name changed from from Muhammad Muyanja Mbabaali to Muyanja Poor Mbabaali.
Mbabaali was also put to task to present original copies of his Diploma certificate from SIT international college and to show the documents he used to be admitted to that college.
Alaka also handed over to Mbabaali his campaign poster on which he presented his particulars as Alhajji Dr. Mbabaali Muyanja and asked him to explain whether he was a PhD holder, a medical doctor, or a witch doctor, adding that he was not one of the known highly learned people in the country.
Mbabaali kept telling Alaka that he was not sure to most of the questions put to him. When asked to explain how he got admitted to SIT International College, Mbabaali explained that his friend he identified as Aziz Abdullah from Malaysia tipped him. But he failed to give particulars of the said Abdullah or his designation at SIT College.
Mbabaali told court that he studied by correspondence. He further told court that examination papers were sent to him by post but failed to identify any of his lecturers who set his examinations and later marked them.
When tasked to explain how he started using the title of Doctor, Mbabaali explained that he was awarded an honorary doctorate by Bucks University but failed to tell court the exact location of this university. He said it is in the United Kingdom but that he did not know the city where it is located and whether it is a public or private institution.
Mbabaali sparked prolonged laughter inside court when he said that in 2004, officials from Bucks University, whom he did not know, sent him a parcel with his transcripts, gowns, and hood, that he had been awarded a doctorate degree in Business Administration. He however failed to identify the officials.
Mbabaali accused the National Council for Higher Education of withholding several original copies of his academic qualifications. He claimed that he did not appear with any original copies of his documents in court the council took them for verification and never returned them despite the numerous letters by his lawyer, Peter Nkurunziza, demanding for them.
But Justice Owiny Dolo told him about NCHE’s explanation that the body does not keep any original copies of academic documents for people. Yeko Acato, the NCHE deputy executive director, yesterday told the same court that they have also demanding for Mbabaali’s documents from him.
By the time of filing this story, Alaka was still cross examining Mbabaali.