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Makerere varsity suspends Nuwagaba over indiscipline

By Vision Reporter

Added 23rd May 2008 03:00 AM

MAKERERE University has suspended senior lecturer and academic staff association chairman Dr. Augustus Nuwagaba over alleged insubordination and negligence.

MAKERERE University has suspended senior lecturer and academic staff association chairman Dr. Augustus Nuwagaba over alleged insubordination and negligence.

By Fortunate Ahimbisibwe and Francis Kagolo
MAKERERE University has suspended senior lecturer and academic staff association chairman Dr. Augustus Nuwagaba over alleged insubordination and negligence.

Nuwagaba, the chairman of Makerere University Academic Staff Association (MUASA), was accused of failing to submit reports for “numerous” postgraduate students to the school of postgraduate studies and disrespecting the university managers.

The university appointments board has summoned Nuwagaba to defend himself on Monday.

Nuwagaba, who has been MUASA chairperson since 2004, has had long-standing conflicts with the top university management.
He recently claimed that the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Livingstone Luboobi, had blocked his promotion to associate professor.

Nuwagaba, a senior lecturer in the political science and public administration department, argued that he first applied to become associate professor in 2004, but he had not been promoted to date.

The academic staff association, under Nuwagaba’s leadership, has been at loggerheads with the university administration. It has organised a number of strikes, including one in November 2006 that resulted into the closure of the university for over two months.

In a May 20 letter, the director of human resources, Sebastian Ngobi, said the university appointments board had noted Nuwagaba’s disrespectful actions against the vice-chancellor.

He said while reviewing Nuwagaba’s application for the promotion on May 12, the board observed that his actions amounted to “grave insubordination.”

Ngobi cited one incident where Nuwagaba allegedly insulted the vice-chancellor. “Your insults to the vice-chancellor in his office amounted to grave insubordination,” Ngobi said,
“Your behaviour when you appeared before the board on 12th November 2007 was characterised by acts of grave insubordination to the board,” he added.

Ngobi further stated that Nuwagaba had neglected his duty by failing to submit reports of his postgraduate students.

“Your failure to submit supervision reports for numerous postgraduate students assigned to you amounts to gross neglect of duty,” Ngobi said.

Nuwagaba admitted that he lost his temper during the meeting last year. He said the letter summoning him was not delivered to him, but someone forged his signature to deceive the board that the summons were delivered to him.

Nuwagaba, who is also the managing director of Reev Consult, a private consultancy research firm, said university officials were only witch-hunting him because of his role in MUASA’s struggle over low pay.

“No amount of intimidation, whether threatening dismissal, will deter me from championing the struggle against maladministration and mismanagement of the university,” he told The New Vision yesterday on phone.

He denied that he had failed to submit progress reports of his postgraduate students.

Dr. Chris Tuhirirwe, the former MUASA deputy general secretary, described the suspension as an “unfortunate development to us as MUASA fraternity.”

“He (Nuwagaba) has wholeheartedly served MUASA for two terms. We are receiving this as shocking news.”
The faculty dean, Prof. Edward Kirumira, said: “I am on my way to Dubai for a conference. I cannot comment.”

The MUASA general assembly of April 7 passed a vote of no confidence in the university top executives over “financial mismanagement.”

The assembly demanded that Luboobi, his deputy in charge of finance and administration, Prof. David Bakibinga, as well as the university secretary, Sam Akorimo and bursar Ben Byambabazi resign within 14 days.

The university council subsequently instituted a committee to investigate the allegations by MUASA.

Makerere varsity suspends Nuwagaba over indiscipline

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