Following the decision on Monday by the staff to press on with their strike which is in its second week now, Makerere University staff, Vice Chancellor, Prof Barnabas Nawangwe, has Tuesday summoned administrators for an emergency meeting.
In his notice, Nawangwe invited all Principals and their deputies, Deans and both academic and administration Heads of Department whom he asked “to attend in person.”
The strike has been on for over two weeks following the suspension of the Chairperson of Makerere University Academic Staff Association (MUASA), Dr Deus Kamunyu Muhwezi on January 17 by the Vice Chancellor. The VC suspended Dr Muhwezi fot his alleged misconduct and incitement with the intent to cause disobedience and strikes.
The staff demanded the University to reinstate Kanyamunyu and two other leaders of the administrative staff Association (MASA) including Joseph Kalema (Secretary) and Bennet Magara (Chairperson) who were earlier suspended by Prof Nawangwe to be reinstated.
Yesterday, Monday, while addressing the joint general Assembly for staff Associations, Nawangwe reiterated that he was open to dialogue with the striking staff.
He further asked them to return to work, arguing the strike was tainting the image of the reputable institution and that it was neither good for the parents nor the students.
The staff however insisted that their leaders need to be reinstated first, before they call off their strike.
Prior, to the general Assembly, the Vice Chancellor met with staff leaders including Dr Kamunyu and according to Prof Nawangwe, they resolved to seize the industrial action. The VC would later on Monday express his disappointment with the staff Association leaders for backtracking on what was agreed on in the meeting.
“It is regrettable that MAK staff association leaders abandoned the positions we reached to return full normalcy to the University,” Prof Nawangwe posted on Facebook.
He however added that “Management is committed to breaking the impasse as soon as possible through constant engagement”.
It remains unclear why today’s emergency meeting has been convened.
The Deputy Vice Chairperson of MUASA, Prof Edward Nector Mwavu told SoftPower News after Monday’s geneGen Assembly that the staff leaders were working around the clock to ensure that the strike doesn’t continue to next week.