Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Makerere University staff members have resolved to launch a full blast strike in protest over the university management’s failure to respect their leaders. The decision to totally withdraw all labour was reached during a Joint General Assembly attended by academic, administrative and support staff Associations on Monday.
The staffs are agitated over the suspension of their association leaders at the start of this semester and the refusal by the University Vice Chancellor Barnabas Nawangwe to lift the suspensions that preceded the current stalemate at Makerere University.
The impasse follows the suspension of Bennet Magara, the Chairperson Makerere Administrative Staff Association – MASA, his Secretary, Joseph Kalema and Dr Deus Kamunyu Muhwezi, the Chairperson Makerere University Academic Staff Association-MUASA. They were accused of misconduct and violation of the terms of their employment.
Although their suspension letters indicate that they were individually suspended as employees of the university, staff at a Joint General Assembly held that the issues they were suspended for are a result of their roles as association leaders.
Dr William Tayebwa, the Head of the Department of Journalism and Communication appealed to the Vice Chancellor Prof Barnabas Nawangwe to respect the resolutions of academic leaders to withdraw the suspension of staff leaders since no proper procedures were followed when the decisions were taken.
John Bosco Oryema, a lecturer from the College of Business and Management Sciences said it was shameful that they were being pushed to go back to class when their leaders are out on suspension.
Associate Prof Ronald Kakungulu Mayambala, a senior law lecturer explains that there is no reason for staff to uphold the illegal suspensions.
Prof John Jean Barya, an expert in constitutional law says the School of Law is ready to support any staff who gets suspended during this industrial action.
Gun Cited at Assembly
Meanwhile, there was a stampede during a staff joint assembly when Amos Ddembe Ashaba, an internal auditor attached to the College of Health Sciences entered the meeting with a pistol. For about ten minutes, the meeting was put on halt to allow the University Police to disarm him in order for the meeting to proceed.
Ddembe was later guided out of the Main Hall and his Gun emptied of the live ammunition by ASP Nickson Okello, the Officer in Charge (OC) at Makerere University police station.