Nawangwe Insists MUASA Leader Was Suspended Over Personal Issues

1655 Views Kampala, Uganda

In short
To walk their talk, the staff laid down their tools on Monday this week accusing the university management of endless attacks on staff associations and their leaders.

Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe, the Makerere University Vice Chancellor has maintained that Dr. Deus Kamunyu Muhwezi was suspended purely because of his personal offenses.

Dr. Kamunyu is Chairperson Makerere University Academic Staff Association-MUASA. He was suspended on January 17, 2019 on accusations of indiscipline and inciting staff. 

His suspension enraged staff who have since vowed not to resume work unless their leader is reinstated unconditionally. To walk their talk, the staff laid down their tools on Monday this week accusing the university management of endless attacks on staff associations and their leaders. 

But in his post on a Whatsapp group for Vice Chancellors, College Principals, School Deans and Heads of Departments refuted the alleged onslaught against staff associations. He argues that the university management appreciates MUASA and the other staff associations given the important roles they play in the University.

"The suspension of Deus Kamunyu, who happens to be the Chairperson of MUASA, has nothing to do with his position as the Chairperson of MUASA. He was suspended for his PERSONAL offenses and these were clearly highlighted in the letter of suspension. Those offenses are well known to everybody in the University," Prof. Nawangwe said in a Whatsapp text. 

Prof. Nawangwe points out to staff that; "Dr. Deus Kamunyu was dismissed from MUBS for activities that made that institution ungovernable. My predecessor, Prof. Ddumba had a written warning to Dr. Deus Kamunyu for activities that tarnished the reputation of the University and colleagues."
He also claims that he has a warning letter to Dr. Kamunyu issued in April 2018 to stop activities that tarnished the reputation of the University and colleagues. "I have counseled Dr. Deus Kamunyu on several occasions about his unbecoming conduct in the University," he said.

Nawangwe contends that despite all efforts to make Dr. Kamunyu reform, he has remained un-compromising and increased his activities. "His intention was obviously to make the university ungovernable. I have set up a committee to investigate his activities and it has commenced work. It is very unlikely that all the three of us, Balunywa, Ddumba and Nawangwe are malicious to one individual," he said.

He urges all staff members to report to duty as per their timetables. While Prof. Nawangwe was away, the Acting Vice Chancellor Associate Prof. Eria Hisali has been engaging staff and students in a series of meetings since Monday January 21. 

The meetings according to Hisali had struck a compromise on majority of the issues the staff raised, but regretted that they had found it tricky to lift the suspension of the staff leader. Associate Prof. Edward Mwavu, the MUASA Vice Chairperson, told URN that the staffs are sticking to their guns of not returning to class unless their leader Dr. Kamunyu, who they believe was suspended unfairly, is reinstated. 

He said whatever the Vice Chancellor was communicating that staff had agreed to resume work was "a total lie" and likened Prof. Nawangwe to Iraq's unrelenting minister Ali Hassan al-Majeed dubbed "Comical Ali" who kept issuing briefings that were marked with propaganda or misinformation in order to boost the fighting troops until the last minute.

//Cue in: "The strike is still on…
Cue out: …from going to parliament."

In the suspension letter, Nawangwe accuses Dr. Kamunyu of committing offences that 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.


About the author

Davidson Ndyabahika
Davidson Ndyabahika is a Journalism major from Makerere University and is passionate about investigative and data journalism with special interest in feature story telling.

He has gone through digital and multi-media training both at Ultimate Multimedia Consult, and has attended Data Journalism Sessions at ACME to enrich his capacity in data journalism.

Davidson has previously freelanced with The Campus Times, The Observer, Chimp reports and URN. He is currently reporting under Education. He is also passionate about reporting on environment, health, crime and political satire writing.

Follow him on Twitter: @dndyaba