Makerere Staff Petition New Council Chairperson

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In short
During a Saturday December 22, 2018 Magara, requested the staff at Makerere to remain calm and allow her to study the situation in the university promising to strictly enforce the rule of law at Makerere University and restore a healthy employment system.

Staff Association leaders at Makerere University have petitioned Lorna Magara, the new University Council Chairperson over massive dismissals, suspensions and warnings of staff.  
The staff have communicated to Magara that they worried about what is taking place at Makerere University.

On Saturday, December 22, Magara requested the staff at Makerere to remain calm and allow her study the situation in the university promising to strictly enforce the rule of law at Makerere University and restore a healthy employment system.  

At the meeting, the staff leaders reported harassment of staff by the university managers and continued suspensions including those of leaders. She insisted that accountability and rule of law will characterize her tenure.  

Uganda Radio Network has learnt that the number of senior staff at Makerere University has also risen to 47. The latest to be sacked include the Makerere Administrative Staff Association - MASA leaders, Joseph Kalema, an officer at Makerere's Directorate of Human Resources who is also the General Secretary and its chairperson Bennet Magara, which staff say these were irregular suspensions
 
In a joint statement released on Sunday morning, staffs described news on the massive dismissals, suspensions and warnings of Staff as "shocking and irregular."
 

It was signed by Dr. Deus Kamunyu Muhwezi, the Chairperson of the Makerere University Academic Staff Association - MUASA, Bennet Magara of MASA and Bruce Twesigye chairperson, National Union of Education Institutions - NUEI.  
"We are distressed by such a decision well aware that the list is a tactical mixture of what seem to be genuine cases and violations of basic rights of Staff," staff leaders jointly said.
 
Adding that; "We interpret this to be an act of provocation intended to annoy us and threaten us into submission to bad management and clandestine practices that have now become a norm."
 
Following the meeting with the new University Council Chairperson, staff leaders resolved that they will not to bend low by seeding to provocation and lawlessness as leaders.
 
They have promised to follow all lawful procedures including collective actions that are lawful at "an appropriate time."   Affected staffs have been advised to remain calm and use the festive season to prepare for appeals to the Staff Tribunal.
 
Jointly, staff associations have scheduled an interaction with the 47 affected staff on January 2nd 2019 at the Senior Staff Club in order to understand the cases and advise accordingly.
 

Also in a joint meeting with the new University Council Chairperson, staff leaders requested for expeditious handling of appeals.  

"We therefore beg all staff for calmness as we extensively engage. We will keep you updated but remain alert. We urge you to remain United more than ever before," staff leaders said in a joint statement.  

Further confirming their commitment to refocusing University employment systems, transparency and accountability of all the institution leaders.  

"No amount of pressure or impunity against our members will deter us from this course or threaten our resolve until we succeed," they said.  

Last year, the two latest staff to be sacked Bennet Magara and Joseph Kalema lead a team of the institution's Administrative Staff to Makerere University to court challenging the illegal tampering of Salary Scale (M6).  

In the salary scale manipulation, the university managers had reduced staff salaries after creating Salary Scale M6.1 & M6.2 & placing them at a reduced Salary Scale M6.2. The Labour Office awarded 3.9Billion after faulting Makerere for illegally switching staff salary scales.  

 

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