Makerere University has regarded as “fake” media reports indicating that students are stranded following a strike by lecturers.
On Monday, the Deputy Chairman for the Makerere University Academic Staff Association (MUASA), Assoc. Prof. Edward Nector Mwavu told the press that lecturers had laid down their tools.
He explained that MUASA demands the reinstatement of their Chairman, Dr Deus Kamunyu Muhwezi who was suspended by the Vice Chancellor, Prof Barnabas Nawangwe last week for “continued misconduct”.
Mwavu also said that MUASA demands that the University Management de-gazettes an amendment made in the university’s Human Resource Policy. The amendment gives Management the powers to dismiss any member of staff who has a case in court, regardless of whether they have been found guilty or not.
“There was an Article in the Human Resource Manual which was amended by Council and was gazetted. One of the sticky issues is – If I, Edward Mwavu have a criminal case in court, it could be an allegation, it could be true, at that juncture, the university will take up the case and dismiss me even if i am not yet guilty,” Mwavu said.
“It also says that even if the court finds me innocent, they [University Management] can not be forced to reverse their decision”.
Regarding the dismissal of Dr Kamunyu and other leaders of staff Associations, Mwavu said that the issues cited by Prof Nawangwe for which Kamunyu was suspended “were issues of the Association, not personal issues”. He says that Dr Kamunyu, by virtue of his position as Chairman MUASA, had to speak about the issues raised during the body’s meetings.
On Tuesday, Daily Monitor, one of the dailies in Uganda reported that on the first day of the semester (Monday), students who reported at school were unattended to, since lecturers did not report to their colleges.
However, the University says, this report and the related others are fake with sensational motives and selfish intentions against Uganda’s most prestigious university.
“The media reports about what’s happening at Makerere including the headline in today’s Daily Monitor are FAKE stories driving a non existing narrative for a selfish agenda and against the University,” the University stated on its official Facebook page.
It adds that: “Lectures are going on across all Colleges and this fact doesn’t change.”
Prior to this, NTV Uganda yesterday ran a story pointing to the same in its evening news bulletin.
This prompted the Vice Chancellor, Prof Barnabas Nawangwe, to in a tweet, castigate the story also regarding it at fake before explaining that lectures actually were held as planned.
“I wonder why NTV is spreading fake news about a strike at Makerere University? The University opened for classes yesterday and many classes took place,” he said in a tweet.
However, when SoftPower News spoke to some students at the university, they confirmed to this site that they were not attended to on Monday, but remained optimistic about having lectures today.