By Vision reporter
KAMPALA - Uganda National Examination Board (UNEB) chairman Fagil Mandy has resigned his job after President Yoweri Museveni bypassed the board and renewed executive secretary Mathew Bukenya’s contract.
“I received a letter from the Minister of Education and Sports, Jessica Alupo, directing me on what to do. I have also written back to the minister telling her I cannot continue working under these conditions,” Mandy said.
He said it was wrong for the education minister and the President to bypass the board and renew Bukenya’s contract, which expired on April 17.
“We must learn to respect the existing structures and learn to follow protocols in place. If it is someone’s time to go, let him go. When will the youth get jobs if you are retaining people who are over age in office?” an irritated Mandy said.
He added that his resignation takes effect immediately. “I have no office to hand over, neither do I have staff,” he said.
Mandy said UNEB would continue with or without him but that the country would lose. Alupo confirmed that she had received Mandy’s resignation letter.
“I have already directed the other board members in accordance with the UNEB Act to appoint an acting chairman and they should formalise the renewal of Bukenya’s contract as we start a process of getting a new chairman,” she said.
‘I come with speed, somersaults’
A renowned educationist, Mandy in mid-2012 replaced Prof Lutalo Bbosa, who had been at the helm of the examinations body for nine years.
A former commissioner in the education ministry, Mandy was supposed to serve a three-year contract.
Mandy resigned his job after President Museveni bypassed the UNEB board to renewed executive secretary Mathew Bukenya’s contract
When he had just taken office at UNEB, the fitness-keen Mandy said he had come with speed and somersaults . . .
. . . and he was determined to exihibit just that, right from the bottom levels
Taking over as the new UNEB chairman, he made it categorically clear that he would not tolerate non-performers
On taking office, he promised to turn around the image of the institution, whose method of assessment has come under scrutiny.
“I come with speed, somersaults and ground experience. I am intolerant to non-performers and politicians out there who think they can mess up UNEB; stand warned!” he said when taking up office in 2012.
But shortly after, Mandy told the press that a clique of officials at UNEB who were opposed to his changes were fighting him.
Bukenya, who is over 80 years of age, has been at the helm of the examination body for 16 years. His contract expired last year but was extended for one year pending recruitment of his replacement.
However, the process of selecting Bukenya’s successor was riddled with claims of unfairness, leading to the intervention of the Inspector General of Government (IGG), Irene Mulyagonja. Mandy was accused of favouring John Bosco Ntangaare, who scored 76.6%.
He was also accused of interfering with the selection process. On January 15, the IGG wrote to the education ministry detailing complaints from a whistle-blower about the way Mandy conducted the recruitment for the person to replace Bukenya as UNEB executive secretary.
Subsequently, the IGG halted the recruitment process and recommended a fresh start. Mulyagonja also recommended for removal of Mandy from UNEB.
As a result of the saga, Bukenya’s renewed contract ended on April 17 before a replacement could be found, sparking off bitter rivalry with Mandy, who insisted that he leaves office.
Last Monday, Mandy wrote to Bukenya reminding him to hand over office to the deputy secretary in charge of administration and finance.
Bukenya snubbed Mandy’s directive, saying he was not aware his contract had expired. Officers from the Very Important Persons Police Protection Unit were deployed at UNEB last week to protect Bukenya after he complained of harassment and bullying from Mandy, who kept on coming to the premises to ask him to leave.
Throughout his tenure, Mandy was accused of getting unnecessarily involved in the day-to-day affairs at the UNEB secretariat.
Uganda will lose if I quit UNEB - Fagil Mandy