By John Masaba
Outgoing Kyambogo University vice chancellor, Professor Omolo Ndiege, has said the problems the university has faced over the years will not end even with him out of the university.
Ndiege, whose contract expired on January 11, also accuses the university leadership of creating an impression that he is the sole cause of the university’s woes. Ndiege was appointed VC in 2008, replacing Lutaalo Bbosa.
During his five-year term the university was been dogged by a number of strikes and corruption scandals, which climaxed with the interdiction of a number of university teaching staff and members of the university council last year. The key highlight of last year was when teaching and non-teaching staff went on strike demanding he leaves.
Speaking to New Vision, Ndiege said there is a ‘mafia’ operating in the university and warned that anybody in VC’s chair will find it difficult doing their job.
“They are not many. There are about 30 people there. They think they can kick out every one. They have good connections and can get things done their way,” he said.
He added: “I know they are fighting because I had been questioning why some were irregularly recruited.”
He said that he faced a lot of harassment by the said group and that he would have failed in the first month of his appointment had he not been strong.
“They would send me intimidating sms while some resorted to pushing intimidating notices under the door of my office,” he said.
Ndiege lashed out at the university council, the university appointing authority, which he said was creating an impression in the media that had refused to vacate office. He believes the allegations are carefully calculated to tarnish his name in order to make him ineligible for the job of vice chancellor should he should he choose reapply.
He said unless the government comes out strongly and to clean the institution, the office of vice chancellor will be untenable.
In spite of that, he boasted that he has a big legion of supporters among the students and staff who are content with his achievements.
When contacted for a comment, Kyambogo University dismissed the allegations as untrue. Kyambogo spokesperson, Lawrence Madete, wondered why Ndiege was choosing to raise the issues now when he should have raised them earlier.
“For five years he was office he had the opportunity to raise the issues but he never raised them even in the university council,” he said. “Belonging to a mafia group is illegal under Uganda’s laws. If he (Ndiege) believes what he is saying is true, let him take them to the attention of police so they can investigate them.”
He reminded Ndiege that the university belongs to many people and bringing such allegations at this time would only spoil its image.
Ndiege has been embroiled in the row with University over the handover of office, with university accusing him of refusing to the acting VC appointed by the university council.
Although he has already handed over all property of university, the university says Ndiege is yet to officially handover office.
Ndiege says the period within which he has been asked to hand over of office is too short.