Expelled Makerere University staff led by Bennet Mark Magara and Dr James Ocita have petitioned the Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga calling for a forensic audit into circumstances that led to their dismissal.
The team consisting of over 10 Makerere University staff members appeared before the Speaker on Friday challenging the “irregular” manner in which the University Vice Chancellor, Prof Barnabas Nawangwe laid them off.
They say their dismissal was done under unclear and unlawful circumstances.
Dr Ocita told the Speaker that it is so unfortunate that several members are just being witch-hunted for their stand against the irregular operations of the university.
“There are unprecedented levels of irregularities, improprieties and impunity in the University which undermine not only the very essence of a University but also the public confidence in the University and government as a whole, given the way perpetrators often exaggerate their purported connections to government and State House,” Ocita said.
He accused the Management of the University of using personal connections to block repeated attempts by well-meaning staff, to report their irregularities to mandated government officials.
He added that the same Management has always ensured that such complaints do not reach their intended recipients.
“A considerable number of the disciplinary cases that the University has handled recently were thinly verified attempts to victimize staff who tried to hold members of Management and Council to account,” he said.
The aggrieved staffers have requested Speaker Kadaga to constitute a committee of inquiry to conduct a thorough forensic audit and public hearing focusing on issues of misappropriation of internally generated funds and project funds, procurements and public disposals of assets and the University pay roll. They also want this committee to look into grabbing of university land in Kololo, Makindye, Katalemwa, Kabanyolo, Katanga among other places.
The group has also pinned individual officials including the University Vice Chancellor, Prof Barnabas Nawangwe, Dr Ernest Okello Ogwang, Prof Mahmood Mamdani whom they accuse of conflict of interest.
“The Committee should as well investigate the gross administrative malpractices, irregularities, widespread impunity, victimizations of students and staff, improprieties, abuse of office and conflicts of interest by the University Management, particularly Prof. Barnabas Nawangwa, Dr. Ernest Okello Ogwang, Prof. Mahood Mamdani and all those involved in the vices”.
They have also called for investigations into why the recommendations of previous committees and commissions of inquiries into issues at Makerere have not been implemented.