The embattled leader of Makerere University Academic Staff Association, (MUASA) Dr Deus Kamunyu Muhwezi, has come out to distance himself from claims that he is a member and subscribes to opposition Political Party Forum for Democratic Change (FDC).
Kamunyu was suspended two weeks ago by the University’s Vice Chancellor, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe, for persistently engaging in acts of misconduct and incitement with the intent to cause disobedience and strikes.
He is further accused of among other things engaging in acts that bring the university and university officials into disrepute, intimidation of university officials, using abusive and/or insulting language, slander, insubordination and making false statements.
His suspension and other over two other leaders of staff Associations has forced his staff at the University to declare a strike until the three leaders have been reinstated.
But Kamunyu says since dismissal, some people with motives of turning the cause of the university’s academic staff into a political one, have been blackmailing him to be an agent of the FDC.
“There are also rumours by those trying to make our matters political and are branding me an FDC agent in order to put me against the State. They are reporting me as a young man (imagine at 42 with a PhD) who is trying to undermine state interests,” he stated.
“I state categorically that instead, my leadership actions are for the State and the people of Uganda. I stand for a strike free, transparent leadership and discipline. I stand against gagging of intellectual discourses and destruction of diversity. These the values of MUASA”
“Therefore, no one should make a purely Associations cause for a better run and curtail free university, a partisan cause,” Kamunyu clarified.
He says that individuals calling him FDC only want to insinuate that the NRM government doesn’t stand for better of our university and citizens which according to him, is false.
Kamunyu adds that the claims ought to be “interpreted as a political manoeuvre to blackmail me and you to believe that I’m politically motivated and then abandon me and other leaders.”
In a statement last week, the academic staff resolved among other things not to resume with lectures until Kamunyu and other staff leaders are reinstated. However, there have been reports that some members in the MUASA executive have since chosen reconsidering the decision.
But Kamunyu, says there is isn’t any serious division to cause alarm.
“I also want to ally fears that the Executive is divided on the basis of what is true to us. Instead, a few people have selfish interests which they believe that I’m stampeding. Please undermine this purported division because it doesn’t help at all,” he said.
On whether he is ready to attend a disciplinary committee over the issues he is accused of, Kamunyu responds in the affirmative, saying he is law abiding and can’t shun away from a lawfully constituted committee.
“For anyone to claim that I’m refusing to appear before a lawfully constituted committee is to state that I’m lawless. I’m not lawless and undisciplined and I will never be,” he said.
Meanwhile, on Monday, the Law dons at Makerere University jointly asked Vice Chancellor’s to reverse his decision to suspend the three Association leaders saying, it was unlawful and unconstitutional.
The other two suspended leaders are from the administrative staff Association (MASA) and include Joseph Kalema (Secretary) and Bennet Magara (Chairperson)