Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Bennet Magara, the newly elected Administrative Staff Association – MASA has been suspended by the University Vice Chancellor; Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe for allegedly inciting staff to disrupt university Activities.
In his December 21, 2018 suspension letter, Prof. Nawangwe protests Magara’s December 19th letter addressed to the University Council Secretary, Charles Barugahare asking the Office of the Vice Chancellor not to meddle in the affairs of staff associations.
“As you are aware, under section 31 (1) (a) of the Universities and Other Tertiary Institutions Act, the Vice Chancellor has a responsibility over Academic, Administrative and Financial Affairs of the University. Your statements are therefore, false and an attack on the office and person of the Vice Chancellor,” reads Prof. Nawangwe’s letter.
Prof. Nawangwe discloses that Magara has routinely been advised and engaged to stop his “illegal activities” in vain. “On December 20, 2018, you led a mob which attempted to disrupt a session of the University Council, the Supreme policy making organ of the University. This mob was thwarted by University Security,” Prof. Nawangwe contends.
He notes that Magara’s actions are in violation of the Universities and Other Tertiary Institutions Act and Makerere University Human Resources manual and other policies that govern employment in the university.
“Therefore in order to protect the reputation of the University, its activities, its personnel, and property, I hereby suspend you from the university in accordance with sections 5.9 (b) (ii) of the Makerere University Human Resources Manual,” reads Prof. Nawangwe’s letter in part.
Adding that, “A committee will be instituted to investigate your said conduct and you will be invited to participate in its proceedings.” On Thursday, a section of staff protested the decision by Makerere management to block their representatives to the University Council, Ruth Iteu Ayoku due to a pending election petition.
Iteu was overwhelmingly voted as the administrative staff representative to council during the association election on November 28, this year after garnering 98 votes beating the incumbent and her main challenger, Dr. Euzobia Baine Mugisha, who obtained 41 votes. Also in the race was George Turyamureeba who obtained 38 votes.
Magara told URN that the Vice Chancellor had no powers to dictate the activities of the associations, saying his only intention was to impose on staff a representative who is pro to his administration.
It is claimed that the vice chancellor had previously directed the association to conduct fresh elections to choose another council representative, a directive that the association rejected, saying the association is established by an Act of Parliament.
They advised the aggrieved parties to petition courts of law rather than run to the University administration.