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Mak woes blamed on University council, management

FILE PHOTO: Makerere University council               

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The Joint Staff Associations of Makerere University have blamed Makerere University disputes over the fusion between University council and management.

The staff associations; Makerere University Academic Staff Association (MUASA), Makerere Administrative Staff Association (MASA) and the National Union of Education Institutions (NUEI) were on Tuesday appearing before the Parliamentary committee on education over the suspension of its members.

In January, Makerere University Vice-Chancellor Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe suspended Dr Deus Kamunyu Muhwezi, the Chairperson MUASA, Bennet Magara, the Chairperson MASA and his General Secretary, Joseph Kalema for alleged indiscipline and inciting of staff has left to stalemate between management and staff.

This led to a sit down strike as the staff demanded the reinstatement of their leaders. The University council led by Lorna Magara has since pledged to expeditiously review the suspension of the staff.

The joint staff association have said the core issue behind the dispute is the relationship between the University Council and management which has led to poor management practices at the institution, and hence staff concerns are not listened to.

They also say crackdown of honest opinions and intolerance by university management is a big factor at Makerere, which should be investigated by the committee.

Presenting the statement of the joint association, Dr Deus Kamunyu Muhwezi said the oversight function of the University Council has been undermined and as a result, there is influence peddling in procurement, jobs and supplies.

Kamunyu also called for the development of a code of conduct for receiving complaints against errant council officers. He also appealed to parliament to urge the university council to recognize the autonomy of staff associations and also wants suspension of their members lifted.

The staff association also called for the creation of a statute consistent with equal opportunities law and leadership code that clarifies the mechanism through which council can select and appoint three representatives of the public to sit on the council.

According to Bennet Magara, the council has been turned into a constituency, where many members have served for several years.

The Committee chairperson Jacob Opolot urged the staff to play their part and ensure that they do not continuously strike but engage in dialogue.

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