Uganda National Examination Board-UNEB has more than doubled the fees for verifying academic qualification for political aspirants.
In the past, aspirants were paying Shillings 35,000 for verifying their Ordinary and Advanced Level Certificates respectively.
However, the Examination body has hiked the verification fee to Shillings 270,000 for each certificate.
Each aspirant is expected to verify his/her certificates and hand them together with their nomination parties to their respective political parties before they are cleared to contest in the party primaries.
The increase of the verification fee has not gone down well with some political aspirants.
Gilbert Akuma, the aspirant Maracha district LC 5 chairperson seat says the Shillings 540, 000 for verifying academic documents levied by UNEB is exorbitant.
“To some extent these charges of buying expression of interest forms, then verifying academic papers at an exorbitant cost is not realistic. This one, am seeing danger. It will increase the number of independent candidates in the near future. One will lose primaries and will flash back at how much money he or she has spent and constitutionally will opt for standing as an independent,” Akuma says.
Nelson Kiaba who is eyeing the Rubaga South constituency seat says after paying money for verifying his academic papers into the NRM account, he went to UNEB but was asked for more money, which left him confused.
“I paid NRM and they give me a form which said this money is to be used to verify my papers. So which means that if UNEB wants money to be paid, then this secretariat should pay UNEB. The party should just give me a chit for UNEB because that is the reason why they said we should pay,” Kiaba said.
NRM Electoral Commission chairman, Tanga Odoi, insists the party will “only sanction nomination when we have re-verified academic papers. Verification of academic papers is very important. This is a prerequisite of every candidate/aspirant prior to being nominated by NRM Electoral Commission. All aspirants must verify their papers. NRM can only verify the certified or verified academic papers”
Hamis Kaheru, the UNEB spokesperson says they hiked the fees because of the high number of politicians who turn up at their offices demanding for their certificates as a matter of urgency.
Although the fees for verifying the academic certificates for political aspirants has been increased to Shs 270,000 for each certificate, non-politicians will continue paying Shs 35,000 like before.