Opposition Democratic Party (DP) president, Norbert Mao has demanded for the dismissal of Makerere University Vice Chancellor, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe, accusing him of incompetence is running the country’s oldest public university.
Mao made the call while addressing the party’s weekly press briefing at the party headquarters in Kampala after meeting with the university Uganda Young Democrats (UYD) Chapter.
He condemned the highhandedness by the security organs that have led to the brutalization and incarceration of students.
“We have heard reports of incidents of break in, the security forces are looting property from students and we condemn all those acts. We demand that the troops be withdrawn from Makerere University,” Mao said.
He said that Makerere is a higher institution of learning where everyone must exhibit free expression of views, free thought and free research.
Mao said the party believes that the government should reconsider the kind of people appointed to manage universities with better management skills.
“Some people had high expectations in Prof. Nawangwe but you can’t run a university the way he is running it. I think a university needs to be run by professional managers who know how to run a university and manage people,” Mao said.
He noted that Prof. Nawangwe has fallen short of this skill and it is high time the university management begins looking for a new Vice Chancellor.
“We call upon the government to dismiss him and I think the students should add that to their demands. When I was a guild president, we convened a general assembly and dismissed the Vice Chancellor ourselves as students,” Mao said.
Mao advised the students to push on the struggle with intelligently noting that they should we call use the organ of the guild, let the representative council sit and pass resolutions and that the guild council calls for the general assembly to take a decision on the sticking issues.
“I have been very public that popcorn protests cannot bring much change, you cannot have 10 people holding placards and you call that a serious demonstration”.
“Serious demonstrations must follow written demands and an ultimatum,” Mao advised UYD leaders.
Mao pledge that the party shall continue mentoring the students on how to exercise student power since they have a lot of power that they haven’t tapped into.
“Lastly we urge you to communicate clearly, don’t mix up your messages when you are communicating,” Mao advised.
On the other, Mao noted that the University management should consider rescinding the 15% tuition increment policy noting that the policy is aimed at promoting social injustice were the rich will only be able to afford the university.