A 20-year-old graduand was crashed by a grader during a graduation procession in Iganga district.
The deceased, Benard Waabada, who was to be awarded a certificate in motor vehicle mechanics at Prime Vocational Institute on Friday, June 17 decided to move on a school grader as the other graduands marched towards town but accidentally fell off before being crushed to death.
The students’ procession that was led by a brass band and traffic police had first moved towards town before heading back to the institute premises in Bugabwe village five kilometers away from the town center.
According to an eyewitness Sande Kalikwani, he blamed the driver of the grader who was a student of motor vehicle mechanics but had no valid driving permit for swinging the grader up and down forcing the deceased to fall off in the process.
Ten graduands had sat on the front of the grader during the procession.
The graduation ceremony was also coinciding with celebrations to mark the ten-year existence of the institute located in Bugabwe village Nakigo Sub County.
The graduation ceremony was temporarily halted for over two hours but later resumed on a light note as some students were seen shedding tears following the sudden death of their colleague.
However, parents at the school were left wondering as to why police that were present during the procession allowed graduands to sit on the grader besides leaving a non-qualified student to ride a grader during the procession.
The school director Michael Buyinza said they would not cancel the graduation since most parents had traveled from as far as Mbarara and Kampala to witness their children receive certificates.
“There was no way we could cancel the graduation ceremony despite the unfortunate incident because it would look a total embarrassment,” he said.
A total of 612 graduands were awarded certificates in motor vehicle mechanics, tailoring, hairdressing, and plumbing.
The acting deputy director Qualifications Standard Department at the Directorate of Industrial Training, Safina Nakyobe, who presided over the graduation ceremony urged parents to enroll their children to attain vocational skills to ensure they become job creators instead of seekers.