There is a brewing stalemate at the Nakawa-based Makerere University Business School (MUBS) after a member of the university’s top Management also Dean at the Faculty of Entrepreneurship and Business Administration, Dr Isaac Wanzige Magoola defied a suspension by MUBS’ Principal, Prof Waswa Balunywa.
In a letter dated August 8, the Principal of MUBS, Prof Waswa Balunywa wrote to Dr Magoola, a Senior Lecturer in the Business Administration Department, suspending him from school service.
“I am in receipt of your letter of August 7, 2019, in response to my letter of August 6, 2019. I have in the past warned you about usage of an abusive language and attacking individuals in your various correspondences,” Dr Balunywa said in the letter.
“You have in the past attacked me personally, my family and members in the school community. I find this conduct unacceptable. Your letter to me and also to the Chairman, Appointments Board, leaves me with no choice but to suspend you from the School service for gross misconduct, demeaning my personality and that of my Appointing Authority, the Fountain of Honor in this country.
In the letter, Prof Balunywa adds that there is need for order in the School and that Dr Magoola’s continuous incitement of staff must be brought to its logical conclusion.
The suspension takes immediate effect, read the letter, and as such, Dr Magoola will receive half of his monthly pay. The Principal said that the accused will be availed an opportunity to be heard before the Appointments Board.
“I note that you want to stay in office forcefully, I am sure you understand the consequences of such an action,” Prof Balunywa warned.
The Principal had in a prior letter suspended Dr Magoola from the position of Dean of Faculty of Entrepreneurship and Business Administration, citing a conflict of interest. It followed Dr Magoola’s appointment as Acting Chairman of the MUBS academic staff association, MUBASA (which according to the Principal is irregular) and his correspondence to the Ministry of Public Service.
“You were elected, appointed and you now serve as Dean of the Faculty of Entrepreneurship and Business Administration and therefore you serve as part of the top management in the School. Your letter makes your position as Dean of the Faculty untenable and shows a conflict of interest”.
As such, he suspended Magoola from the position of Dean of Faculty, adding that the matter would be referred to the MUBS Appointments Board for their information and action.
However, in a letter dated August 7, Dr Magoola defied the Principal’s suspension terming it as illegal and inconsequential. Magoola says the Principal is not his appointing authority neither is he legally a Principal of MUBS.
“Your term as Principal expired and you have never been officially put through the established competitive process. I could thus ignore this letter with the contempt it deserves,” Magoola writes.
He says he is a Senior Lecturer with a right to associate under MUBASA which entitles me to vote and be vote and be voted. He says he is an academic staff with a right to vote for academic leaders and be voted in such leadership positions.
Magoola explains that having been elected Vice Chairperson for MUBASA, when the substantive Chairperson resigned, he automatically became Acting Chairperson.
“I am not the first or last to lead a staff association as well as serve in management”.
“Your letter does not disclose the provisions of the law or regulations I have violated, the evidence of such violation, the provisions that indicate the sanction you are purporting to enforce nor the law giving you the power you are purporting to wield”.
He terms the Principal as “an administrative caricature fit for use in a General Management class” and accuses him of acting unilaterally, without using any system, structure or process nor giving him (Magoola) the right to be heard.
‘It is clear you have singled me out for victimization following a personal vendetta you have waged against me for many years because of my knack to always point out your nakedness”.
He partly attributes the “vendetta” that Balunywa has against him to his (Magoola) insistence on a forensic audit which would reveal people closely related to the Principal that he has elevated to lecturers and fast tracked them to PhD enrolment when they have pass and lower second degrees.
This, Magoola says, Balunywa has done while denying people with first class and upper second degrees with longer service to MUBS.
As such, Magoola says he will continue to handle his duties as Dean since the Principal’s letter is “null and void”. He has also demanded that Prof Balunywa expunges the suspension letter from the university record and apologizes to him (Magoola) for his transgression.
He has also threatened to file a civil suit against the Principal for what he terms as vexatious disturbance which is hindering his work as Dean and for a permanent injunction debarring him from raising dubious claims against him