Mak Lecturers Want Muasa Constitution Amended Top story

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In short
Dr. Muhammad Kiggundus term of office that was due to expire in February 2017 has been extended up to April to pave way for constitutional amendments. Lecturers want amendments on proxy voting and quorum.

Makerere University Academic Staff Association - Muasa has moved to review its constitution to address the issue proxy voting and the quorum needed to make decisions. 

In its current form, the Muasa general assembly quorum constitutes of only 30 members to make a binding resolution. During their last General Assembly on December 19, 2016, eight-one of the 137 members who attended the assembly elected to call off the two-months strike, while 57 voted against the suspension.
Speaking to URN earlier this week, Dr. Lawrence Mugisha, the association's Assistant General Secretary said that before the closure of the university in November last year, staff had resolved to amend the Muasa constitution so as to stop the minority from deciding for others.

The members also want the voting procedure and the number of times one serves on the executive committee revisited.
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The Muasa Constitution 1975 was last amended in July 1989. Section 4 and 5 of Article VII of the constitution require a quorum of 30 members for Muasa General Meetings, including the Annual General Meeting to go ahead. 

The constitution further adds that "Voting by proxy shall be allowed provided written notice is sent to the Secretary by the member giving the proxy informing the Secretary to this effect."
Several staff members note that a contestant can win with majority of proxy votes which is dangerous to the association.
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Dr. Mugisha told URN that before Makerere University was indefinitely closed last year, the Muasa General Assembly had resolved and set up a constitution review committee to make amendments by December 2016. However, the committee's work was halted due to the closure.
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Now the committee headed by the Muasa General Secretary Dr. Louis Kakinda is to make consultations with staff at the various college and departmental levels ahead of the next elections in three months time.
The current Muasa leadership headed by Dr. Muhammad Kiggundu Musoke according to the Muasa constitution is ending in February 2017. Each committee serves a two-year renewable term beyond which an individual is not allowed to contest for the same position. 
Dr. Mugisha says that because of the constitutional review process, Muasa is likely to hold elections for its new executive in April. The executive comprises of the Chairman, the Deputy Chairman, Secretary, Vice Secretary, and the Treasurer.
The executive also has five Committee Members who chair the five standing committees of Academic and Research, Welfare, Planning and Development, Public Relations and Publications and the External Relations.

Dr. Mugisha told URN that despite the elections being pushed to April this year, it was not their desire as the Muasa executive to extend their term. 

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Makerere University reopened on January 2 after two months of behind-the-scenes negotiations following its closure on November 1, 2016. The closure came a week after lecturers staged a sit-down strike over non-payment of salary incentive for the past nine months.


About the author

Davidson Ndyabahika
Davidson Ndyabahika is a Journalism major from Makerere University and is passionate about investigative and data journalism with special interest in feature story telling.

He has gone through digital and multi-media training both at Ultimate Multimedia Consult, and has attended Data Journalism Sessions at ACME to enrich his capacity in data journalism.

Davidson has previously freelanced with The Campus Times, The Observer, Chimp reports and URN. He is currently reporting under Education. He is also passionate about reporting on environment, health, crime and political satire writing.

Follow him on Twitter: @dndyaba