Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Makerere University Vice Chancellor Prof Barnabas Nawangwe has suspended the leader of Makerere University Academic Staff Association – MUASA Dr Deus Kamunyu Muhwezi. The notice of suspension is contained in a letter dated January 17, 2019. In the letter, Dr Kamunyu is accused of inciting staff and indiscipline.
The suspension comes at the backdrop of disagreements between staff associations at the University and the university administration headed by Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe. The animosity between the two entities peaked with the recent dismissal of senior members of academic staff, some of who were accused of insubordination, among others.
In the suspension letter, Nawangwe contends that despite the various warnings, Dr Kamunyu has continued to engage in acts that amount to misconduct.
The acts according to Nawangwe, include offenses under the Computer Misuse Act, incitement with intent to cause disobedience and undermine administration, acts that bring the University and officials of the University into disrepute, intimidation of university officials using abusive and or insulting language, slander, insubordination and making false statements among others.
“Your aforesaid unlawful activities contravene the terms and conditions of your employment with the University and also violate the provisions of the Employment Act, 2006, the Uganda Public Service Standing Orders 2010, and the Makerere University Human Resources Manual, 2009, and other policies governing employment with the University,” the suspension letter reads.
He also makes reference to security reports that have shown that Dr Kamunyu has continued to incite staff to disrupt university activities and engage in unlawful conduct. In support of the suspension, Prof. Nawangwe says this is aimed at protecting the reputation of the University, its activities, personnel, and property from Dr Kamunyu’s disruptive activities.
With this suspension, Dr Kamunyu has been directed to prepare a handover report with university property. The suspension letter also says Dr Kamunyu will receive half pay and will not be allowed to access the university premises, offices and or property.
Speaking after his suspension, Dr Kamunyu said this is not shocking news to him citing that Prof. Nawangwe is panicking to protect a section of people. He requested staff to remain united and to serve people even in such circumstances.
Dr Kamunyu adds that his suspension implies that Prof. Nawangwe disregards staff associations, that are established under the Universities and Other Tertiary Institutions Act.
The suspension brings to three, the number of staff association leaders currently serving suspensions. In December, Bennet Magara and Joseph Kalema both leaders of the Makerere Administrative Staff Association – MASA were suspended on grounds of insubordination.
This is after they challenged a directive by Prof. Nawangwe calling for fresh elections by Staff Associations. The two wrote a letter to the university council secretary stating that the Vice Chancellor had no mandate to meddle into staff associations and that his call for fresh elections was nugatory.