Makerere Staff Petition Speaker Kadaga, Spill Beans

Less than 24 hours after Makerere University Vice Chancellor Prof Barnabas Nawangwe addressed media over the 50 sacked staff and warning them about petitioning parliament, Speaker Rebecca Kadaga has received the 100 page document stinging 5 senior officials.

Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe: There must be sanity within the University. No member of staff, not even me can go out to make statements about the university without authorization which endangers the image of the university. Everybody must abide by the regulations of the University.

However, the Speaker has given audience to Makerere Staff who are demanding a forensic audit in the way Uganda’s biggest university is managed.

Rebecca Kadaga , the Speaker said she will put Makerere University on the agenda of parliament when it resumes. She said Parliament oversees Makerere University and the management will be called to answer. Among other things, she wants to know why reports commissioned by President Museveni were shelved.

Below is the Executive Summary Presented to Parliament of Uganda today.

MAKERERE UNIVERSITY PETITION TO THE RT. HON SPEAKER, THE PARLIAMENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF UGANDA PREPARED AND SUBMITTED TO THE SPEAKER OF THE PARLIAMENT OF UGANDA BY CONCERNED STAFF Makerere University P. O. Box 7062 Kampala C.C Minister of Education and Sport Minister of State for Higher Education Deputy Speaker, Parliament of the Republic of Uganda Justice Catherine Bamugemereire, Commission of Inquiry into Land Matters Head, Anti-Corruption Unit, Office of the President Chairperson, Makerere University Council Chairpersons, MUASA, MASA & NUEI 2nd JANUARY 2019

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Makerere University is a premier government-owned University. It is ranked among the top five universities in Africa, boasting a global acclaim for high impact research.

Over the years, the University has distinguished itself as an emerging centre of excellence and a leader in cutting edge research, training of human resources in undergraduate and postgraduate levels.

The University’s vision is to be a research-led institution making vibrant contributions to the national, regional and global development agenda.

Given the vision of President Y. K. Museveni’s government to transform Uganda into a modern and prosperous country by 2040, the University is well positioned to play a vital role towards the realization of this noble agenda.

Museveni’s Government has made commendable contributions towards supporting and stabilizing the Makerere University and improving the welfare of staff.

These have been in the form of continued budgetary appropriations and progressive enhancement of salaries in the recent past. While the President’s promise to increase a professor’s salary to fifteen (15) million Uganda shillings is yet to be realised, University staff are greatly appreciative of the progress so far made.

The University has, however, continued to suffer from structural weaknesses arising largely from poor management practices, misappropriation of resources and the fusion of University Management and Council, which compromises the necessary oversight that the latter should exercise over the former.

With oversight giving way to outright collusion, the University Management and Council have lately masterminded irregular human resources practices, recruitments characterized by nepotism, cronyism, and bribery; unconstitutional amendments of the University’s Human Resources Manual; abuse of office/power; misappropriations of resources; fraudulent sale of University land and properties; and several other forms of improprieties, often with total impunity.

The unprecedented levels of irregularities, improprieties and impunity in the University undermine not only the very essence of a University but also the public confidence in the University and Government as a whole, given the way perpetrators often exaggerate their purported connections to Government and State House.

Using personal connections, they have blocked repeated attempts by well-meaning staff to report their irregularities to mandated government officials, ensuring that such complaints do not reach their intended recipients.

A considerable number of the disciplinary cases that the University has handled recently were thinly veiled attempts to victimize staff who tried to hold members of Management and Council to account.

i) The cancer of careerism in the University Council, which has steadily compromised the University Management and become the main source of perennial problems, and the fusion of management and Council;

ii) Abysmal failure by the Management to exercise oversight within the University hierarchy, resulting in underperformance and widespread culture of impunity. This failure result largely from unclear reporting structures, conflicts of interest, and unclear structures or policies, the worst case being in MISR;

iii) Various forms of irregularities such as the recent arbitrary amendment of the Human Resources Manual; irregular dismissal of 47 staff; flawed disciplinary procedures which are inconsistent with constitutional standards, failures to follow established administrative structures, irregular appointments characterized by nepotism, cronyism, and bribery;

iv) Abuse of structures and procedures, which damage the image of the University in the eye of the public and threaten to burden the University with unnecessary expenses arising from litigations and potential legal settlements; and

v) Misuse and misappropriation of University resources, particularly internally generated revenues, project funds/grants, land grabbing and irregular sales of University lands, and illegal occupation of University property.

Whereas we thank the Government for its support in the form of progressive salary enhancement and continued budgetary appropriation for the University, there is more that Government can and should do in terms of strengthening oversight and accountability.

Such interventions would ensure a more stable university and enhance optimal use of the limited resources. The problems above have been highlighted repeatedly, including in the report of the recently concluded Rwendeire Visitation Committee.

But the University Management and Council have shown no desire to implement the Committee’s recommendations and those of previous committees. Our prayers, therefore, are for Parliament to constitute a committee of inquiry to conduct a thorough forensic audit and public hearing focusing on the following:

a) Misappropriation of internally generated funds and projects funds, procurements and public disposals of assets, the University pay roll, land grabbing in Kololo, Makindye, Katalemwa, Kabanyolo, Katanga, etc.

b) Gross administrative malpractices, irregularities, widespread impunity, victimizations of students and staff, improprieties, abuse of office and conflicts of interest by the University MAKERERE UNIVERSITY PETITION TO PARLIAMENT Petition to the Speaker of Parliament by the Concerned Staff of Makerere University iii Management, particularly Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe, Dr. Ernest Okello Ogwang, Prof. Mahmood Mamdani, and all those involved in these vices.

c) Review irregular appointments of careerist members of Council, particularly Mr. Bruce Kabaasa Balaba and Hon. Thomas Tayebwa, who bounced back to Council as representatives from the public, should be investigated.

The investigation should focus on their irregular appointments of as members of Council from the public; and on the wealth they have accumulated in the course of their tenures at the University that seem inconsistent with the positions they hold.

d) Review provisions of the Universities and other Tertiary institutions Act that require amendments, especially focusing on the composition of Council as highlighted by the recent Visitation Committee report, the processes through which Council members, especially representatives of the public are nominated and appointed.

e) Why the recommendations of previous committees and commissions of inquiries have not been implemented and what should be done to ensure that they are implemented.

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