Prof. Nawangwe Pleads with Students to ‘Stay-Away' from Strike

1309 Views Kampala, Uganda

In short
He was making reference to students who have shunned lectures, using the staff strike as an excuse. The sit-down strike was declared after the suspension of Dr Deus Kamunyu Muhwezi, the chairperson of the Makerere University Academic Staff Association MUASA, two weeks ago.

Makerere University Vice Chancellor Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe has appealed to students to stay away from the on-going staff strike and let the institution's management resolve the standoff.

He was making reference to students who have shunned lectures, using the staff strike as an excuse. The sit-down strike was declared after the suspension of Dr Deus Kamunyu Muhwezi, the chairperson of the Makerere University Academic Staff Association - MUASA, two weeks ago.

Dr Kamunyu was suspended on January 17, for alleged indiscipline and inciting violence among Makerere University staff. He was also accused of intimidation of university officials, using abusive and or insulting language, insubordination and making false statements, among others.

But staffs have since demanded his unconditional reinstatement citing that he was suspended illegally and irregularly.

The students have since demanded an explanation as to why the impasse had persisted despite assurances by university managers. URN has learnt that attempts by student leaders to meet the Vice Chancellor for a possible explanation were frustrated by the military police which blocked the students from accessing administration block on Thursday. 

But Prof. Nawangwe told Uganda Radio Network in an interview that Makerere University Students had already earned themselves a reputation and advised that engaging in a strike to support lecturers would further taint their already earned "good name."

"Students please keep out of this. Let us resolve this matter. A lot of your colleagues are being taught, a few of you are not being taught but we are handling it. If you chose to blindly follow agitation which we believe is being done for selfish interests, then you are shooting yourselves in the foot," Nawangwe said.

Prof. Nawangwe says the striking staffs are trying to protect people who are against the students.
 
//Cue in; "I would advise….
Cue out: …people, we can take."//
 
However, the students have petitioned Mrs Lorna Magara, the Chairperson of Makerere University Council over the on-going unresolved staff-management woes. The students seek to be permitted to mediate the two parties, the managers and staff.

In the 3-page petition, Guild Speaker Isaac Kwagala said the students were running out of patience as the promised end to the impasse has not come to fruition. The petition that has also been copied to President Yoweri Museveni, as the university visitor, the Education and Sports Minister, Members of Makerere University Management and all staff associations.

 

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.

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