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MUASA seeks judicial review on Nawangwe’s role in staff associations

FILE PHOTO: Vice-Chancellor Professor Barnabas Nawangwe

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The Makerere University Academic Staff Association –MUASA is seeking a judicial review of the internal processes in Makerere and the interference in staff association affairs by the University Vice-Chancellor.

This’ after the Vice-Chancellor Professor Barnabas Nawangwe blocked two academic staff leaders nominated on the Staff Appeals Tribunal. Professor Nawangwe said nominees Dr Phiona Muhwezi Mpanga and Associate Prof. Ronald Kakungulu-Mayambala, both from the Makerere school of law will not be sworn in as members of the tribunal until the matter arising from a petition he has received against their nomination is resolved.

The said petition, according to Professor Nawangwe alleges that in the process of nominating the representatives, there was disregard of the Universities and Other Tertiary Institutions Act, disregard of the MUASA constitution, and disenfranchising aggrieved persons riddled with conflict of interest.

The MUASA executive, however, says that they have not seen any petition against the process and that whatever the Vice Chancellor is doing is to meddle into the association affairs.

Through their lawyer Dr James Akampumuza, three association leaders led the acting MUASA chairperson Edward Nector Mwavu have dragged Makerere University, its Vice Chancellor and with the university legal director Henry Mwebe to court.

In a letter dated June 28, to the Civil Division of the High Court Dr Akampumuza asked that the matter be brought to the attention of the trial judge and a speedy hearing accorded.

“We write to request for an urgent hearing date on the matter. This urgency is necessitated by the fact that this matter involves setting up of the University Tribunal, which is an important alternative dispute resolution of the university to mediate between staff and administration and is therefore extremely sensitive and urgent,” Dr Akampumuza said.

A similar incident occurred last year when Professor Nawangwe blocked the swearing-in of Ruth Iteu Eyoku, as a representative of the Senior Administrative Staff on the Makerere University Council. He said he had received a petition from a section of administrative staff who challenged Iteu’s election.

Her rejection was one of the issues that led to a month-long stalemate at Makerere early this year.

When the association leaders advised him to stop meddling in staff association matters, the vice chancellor responded by suspending two senior Administrative Staff Association – MASA leaders Bennet Magara, the newly elected chairperson and his General Secretary Joseph Kalema for allegedly inciting staff to disrupt university Activities. He then cited he was the overall leader of the institution under which the associations fall.

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