MUASA Chairman Summoned by Probe Committee, Says Ready to Cooperate

MUASA Chairman, Dr Deus Kamunyu Muhwezi (R).

An investigative committee setup by Makerere University Vice Chancellor, Prof Barnabas Nawangwe, has summoned the suspended Chairman of Makerere University Academic Staff Association (MUASA), Dr Deus Kamunyu Muhwezi, for investigations into his alleged misconduct and insubordination.

The committee which is chaired by Prof. Sarah Kiguli from the School of Medicine, also includes Dr. Moses Musinguzi the Dean School of the Built Environment (Member), Janet Nabukeera from the Directorate of Human Resources (Secretary), Prof Noble Banadda, a Senior Lecturer in Department of Agricultural and Bio-systems Engineering (Member) and Esther Kabinga from the Directorate of Legal Affairs (Legal Advisor).

It is mandated to investigate circumstances that led to the suspension of Dr Kamunyu by the Vice Chancellor on January 17.

In a letter addressed to Kamunyu, the Vice Chancellor accused the MUASA Chairman of among other things inciting fellow staff members to cause violence.

“Despite various warnings, you have continued to engage in acts that amount to misconduct, including offences under the Computer Misuse Act, incitement with the intent to cause disobedience and/or strikes to undermine the university administration,” Prof Nawangwe said in a letter.

He also accused him of engaging in acts that bring the university and university officials into disrepute, intimidation of university officials, using abusive and/or insulting language, slander, insubordination, making false statements among others.

On Thursday, Dr Kamunyu confirmed receipt of summonses requiring him to appear before the committee on Friday at 2:30pm.

However, there were earlier speculations that he may consider snubbing the hearings by the committee, but which he refutes.

“Like I said, I will appear. Remember that this is an investigative committee and those who often blame me for being legalistic should understand. I will always say that what ever is lawful is also good for us all,” Kamunyu said in a statement.

“You may also have seen court summons indicating that I have sued Mak. The truth is that my lawyers are on standby to allow Mak to arbitrate in this matter especially where laws have been breached or where healing is needed,” he added.

Kamunyu says that he is committed to remaining a proponent of arbitration and conflict resolution mechanisms for the University in order to reduce the cost of litigation.

He further urged other MUASA members to remain united and defend their freedom of expression and diversity.

However, on Monday, the MUASA Legal Advisor, Dr Kakungulu Mayambala said that the independence of the probe committee is questionable since it was appointed by the same person who effected the suspensions.

Staff at Makerere University, both academic and administrative have been on strike for the 13th day today, demanding among other things the reinstatement by the University Management of Kamunyu and two other staff Association leaders who were also suspended by Prof Nawangwe.

Earlier this week, a group of 20 law dons from the Makerere University School of Law signed a legal opinion advising the Vice Chancellor to withdraw the suspension of the three Association leaders which they argued was done in breach of the Constitution, the University and Other Tertiary Institutions Act and the Labour Unions Act.

The legal scholars argued that the acts for which Dr Kamunyu was suspended were done in his capacity as a representative of staff and not as an employee of the university, and thus, he can not be penalized for them.

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