By Irene Best Nyapendi
Work, dedication and discipline paid off for the Uganda Christian University (UCU) School of Law class of 2020/2021 as these graduates topped the list at the 50th Law Development Center (LDC) graduation. Among the top 20 students who scored a first-class degree at the LDC graduation in June, 10 did their Bachelor’s Degree at UCU.
Before anyone can practice law in Uganda, they must have a Post-Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice (one academic year) from LDC on top of a degree from a recognized university. UCU is among a dozen Ugandan schools offering a law degree.
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In appreciation of their achievement, UCU held a thanksgiving ceremony to honor these distinguished alumni. The recognition on July 11 at Nkoyoyo Hall followed the recently concluded LDC graduations at LDC campuses in Kampala, Lira and Mbarara districts.
About the UCU Law thanksgiving
Assoc. Prof. Aaron Mushengyezi, the UCU Vice Chancellor, commended the School of Law staff for their roles in graduates’ success and encouraged alumni to consider working at UCU.
“This has been possible because we have a God we serve, a mighty God, and so we shall be a mighty university,” Mushengyezi said.
In appreciation of the performance, UCU management approved the purchase of a new van for the faculty and renovation of their offices. Star students were given individual awards.
Rev. Assoc. Prof. John Mulindwa Kitayimbwa, the UCU Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic Affairs), who attended the graduation at Kampala campus, said he was “filled with extreme joy” that the top four students were from UCU.
We want to thank the Lord because it has not been by power nor might, but it has been by the Spirit of the living God,” Kitayimbwa said.
Dr. Peter Mutesasira, Dean of the UCU School of Law, said the recent accomplishment wasn’t an easy task but is a reflection of the rigor at UCU.
“Your great performance at LDC has proved that beyond the gates of UCU, our students continue to excel, and this has proved that we indeed produce the best,” he said. “We thank God we are here. I usually tell my students I am the film star of the School of Law, but for today these are our film stars.”
He urged other students pursuing Law at UCU to be firm and know that they are in the right place.
“We hope you will be an inspiration to those who are coming after you,” Mutesasira said. “We believe that even those after you will hold our flag higher and this is not the end; this is the journey that is just starting for you.”
During the event, the Vice Chancellor awarded the distinguished graduands.
The stars included Emmanuel Okia, the best performer at LDC this year with a Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) of 4.90; Shamira Kitimbo, the best female student at LDC with 4.80; Reagan Ahumuza, the best at Kampala campus with 4.75. The others included Victor Stephen Bwambale with 4.60; Job Ernest Ayesiga (4.55); Samuel Odiye (4.50); Martha Uwizeye (4.40); and Namagembe Josephine Jojo (4.40).
Jemimah Jehopio, who scored a CGPA of 4.70, scooped the three awards at LDC – the Director’s Award, Agaba Muhairwe Prize (given to best student in corporate and commercial practice on the postgraduate bar course) and the Inspector General of Government accolade (for outstanding student in trial advocacy).
“These awards represent the fulfillment of my dreams,” Jehopio said. “These accolades acknowledge my dedication and are pivotal for my future career endeavors.”
“I am humbled by such a profound gesture,” said Samuel Odiye (4.50). “We thank God for UCU, a place where knowledge meets opportunity, where dreams are nurtured, and where lifelong friendships are forged.”.
The graduates were among the first group of UCU students that did a take home exam during the Covid-19 lockdown disruptions in 2020. They completed their semester online and had a virtual graduation. All that notwithstanding, they excelled, joined LDC and topped in the country.