Striking staff of Makerere University have called for an emergency joint Assembly on Monday following reports that there are divisions within the executive of the academic staff Association, MUASA.
On Friday, members of Makerere University Academic Staff Association (MUASA) executive led by the Association’s Vice Chairperson, Prof Edward Nector Mwavu, told journalists that reports claiming MUASA had organized a general Assembly on the same day (Friday) were false.
He said the academic staff had no intentions of holding any general Assembly without involvement of the joint associations members.
This follows a circular that was issued mid week by MUASA Secretary General, Dr Michael Walimbwa, calling upon MUASA members for a general assembly on Friday aimed at solving the impasse at the country’s oldest university.
However, in a counter move, Prof Mwavu warned Dr Walimbwa and his group against their actions and appealed to staff to remain calm and patient and avoid under dealings with management.
“I have received reports of unfortunate actions of intimidation and deceit. There are reports that the GS (General Secretary) is coercing people to sign a petition they have not fully internalised. At this time when we are calling for dialogue and engagement we should not be seen to be involved in such underhand dealings,” Prof. Mwavu wrote in a note to staff on their social media platforms.
He said such under dealings would be the betrayal of the many.
Prof Mwavu told reporters on Friday that in calling the purported Assembly, the rules were not followed.
“As MUASA, we haven’t called for a general assembly and as such, there will be any general assembly to be held today. For any Assembly to take place, it must follow the right procedures,” Prof Mwavu said.
He said that in bid to restore normalcy at the University, the striking staff have once again written to the University management to immediately schedule a meeting following their earlier letter on January 28, 2019.
The MUASA Vice Chairperson said that staff are still open to any meaningful negotiations and requested that the University management shows willingness to solve the stand off.
Mwavu said that the members of the joint associations have called for a Joint General Assembly on Monday February 4 at the University to give feed back to the members as well as forging a way forward.
“We must know that the current situation at the University is solely between management and the staff associations, you have to note that as of today, the joint associations are yet to receive a feedback from top management on how to resolve this impasse,” Prof Mwavu said.
Meanwhile, the suspended MUASA Chairperson, Dr Deus Kamunyu Muhwezi has accused the university Management of blackmail.
“The administration of our university has resorted to blackmail and threats to administer industrial disputes and this trend is on the increase. Its my hope that we shall overcome together,” Kamunyu said in a statement.
“We should also take time to learn from the purported Executive divisions, their intention and motivations. Let us undermine these divisions and work towards rescuing your leaders,” Dr Kamunyu added.
He said that the upcoming Emergency Joint General Assembly scheduled for Monday “should redefine this dispute in the light our future stability, freedom of expression and job security”.