Law Students Question MAK's Disregard to Staff Woes

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In short
The statement, which is signed majorly third and fourth year students, says there are several injustices committed by management that the Law School must stand against.

Law students in Makerere University have joined their lecturers to demand for respect of the Rule of Law and good governance by the university managers.

In their two page statement to the Vice Chancellor, Prof Barnabas Nawangwe, the students note that the unapologetic indifference and oblivion expressed by management towards the legal guidance from their lecturers is testament of the immense disregard with, which management treats its responsibility to ensure that they receive the education they pay for.

The statement, which is signed majorly by third and fourth year students, says there are several injustices committed by management that the Law School must stand against. 

The student's letter is in response to the current stalemate at Makerere University between management and staff following the suspension of Bennet Magara, the Chairperson Makerere Administrative Staff Association, his Secretary, Joseph Kalema and Dr. Deus Kamunyu Muhwezi, the Chairperson Makerere University Academic Staff Association-MUASA for alleged misconduct and violation of the terms of their employment.

Despite the fact that Law Dons have dismissed the suspension as illegal and therefore unlawful, management has rejected the legal advice. The Dons had hoped that lifting the suspension of the staff leaders, would enable the two parties to dialogue in a calm and peaceful atmosphere.
But Prof. Nawangwe insists that the opinion of the Dons has no legal basis and describes it as "legal activism". Now Law students, say the decision by management to blame students for their alleged refusal to attend classes is a contemptuous attempt to hoodwink the public into sympathizing with Management.

"We unequivocally invite all stakeholders and observers to condemn such injurious allegations," the statement by the Law students reads. They further observe that that the implications of the impasse are wide ranging and affect all students whose schedules including internship have been distorted by the unresolved standoff. 

"It is no secret that in the event that the requirement for "pre-entry" examinations is sustained as a condition for admission to the Law Development Centre (LDC), these fluctuations in the University schedule will inevitably cripple their efforts to move in tandem with their contemporaries from other institutions. Indeed, even if that requirement were scrapped, their admission to LDC will nevertheless be affected," the students contend.

One of the petitioners told URN that it is unfortunate that the Vice Chancellor has been lying to the public about lectures in the university. "As you are aware we have not studied for four weeks despite our prompt reporting and readiness to study. The university and its leadership have failed us. Efforts including striking to reclaim our right to education have been thwarted by the university with express help of force by the Military," he said.

Joel Roy Mucunguzi, the former Student Representative on the Law School College Administrative Board told URN earlier today that while the university management tries hard to send lecturers back to class, it should work address the injustices that have perpetuated the current impasse.

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Although some students are agitating for more confrontational means, their leaders have continued calling for calm until the end of Joint Staff Assembly later today.
"We demand that an immediate resolution be arrived at to the end that justice is done for all the stakeholders, most paramount of who are the students whose right to an education is being blatantly violated," the students contend.


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