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Mak staff reject Nawangwe’s directive to call off strike

Prof Nawangwe meeting some of the academic leaders at Makerere. Despite this, the lecturers remain defiant. PHOTO MAKERERE MEDIA

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT |  Makerere University academic staff have rejected a directive from the Vice Chancellor Professor Barnabas Nawangwe to resume work.

The staff last month went on a sit-down strike protesting the suspension of their association leaders.

Nawangwe suspended Dr Deus Kamunyu Muhwezi, the Chairperson of Makerere University academic staff association (MUASA) for allegedly inciting staff and indiscipline.

He was suspended alongside Benet Magara and Joseph Kalema both leaders of Makerere Administrative Staff Association – MASA.

On Tuesday, Nawangwe invited all Heads of Units (Academic and Administrative) to an emergency meeting.  This was followed by a circular from Andrew Abunyang, the institution’s Director in- charge of Human Resources directing all staff to report to duty by 8:00 am on Wednesday.

However, URN reporters visited the School of Law, the College of Business and Management Sciences – CoBAMS, the College of Education and External Studies, the College of Humanities and Social Sciences – CHUSS and the College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences – CAES but there was no lectures taking place.

Some of the staff said that they will not be coerced to teach.

“Nawangwe must work with us and not force us into classes. This environment is not conducive for us to teach,” said a senior female lecturer in the department of humanities who preferred anonymity.

Joel Roy Mucunguzi, former Guild Representative Councillor – GRC at the School of Law observes that Makerere management needs to drop its pride and address the staff concerns.

“I think that the impasse that has beset this hill is testament of the growing impunity and intolerance in our nation. It exemplifies unwillingness by the managers to consider what is at stake for the people they ought to be serving,” Mucunguzi observes.

Melon Kanyesigye, a second-year student of Bachelor of Education says that some students have resorted to attending nightclubs due to idleness.

“It’s unfair that we left home three weeks back and we even paid tuition and reported to lecture rooms only to be welcomed by the strike. I will only come back to campus when I am fully convinced that the lecturers have reported back to work and are willing to teach us,” Kanyesigye discloses.

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