Sunday September 2 2012

Kyambogo varsity staff petition Parliament

By Sheila Naturinda

Two days after Kyambogo University was closed following three consecutive weeks of internal fights between teaching staffs and their Vice Chancellor Prof. Isaiah Omolo Ndiege, the lecturers on Friday sought Parliament’s intervention in their standoff.

Received by Deputy Speaker Jacob Oulanyah, the lecturers said they were unhappy that even the other authorities to whom their grievances have been always sent have failed to help them.

Appeal to Parliament
“We know Parliament always cherishes peoples’ freedoms and cannot fail us at such a time to come in and solve our stand- off with Prof Ndiege,” Dr Charles Twesigye, the staff association chairman, said.

Under the Rules of Procedure of Parliament, such a petition is supposed to be handled by the relevant committee in at least 45 days and a report is made for debate on the floor of Parliament.
The staff described Prof. Ndiege’s leadership as “militant” in their petition.

“We are convinced that it’s the frustrations that made the two associations and unions to make the joint statements and petition to present our issues together to you after we have failed to have them handled by management and the university council,” the petition reads in part.

University closed
The university council chairman, Prof. John Okedi, ordered students off campus by 4pm on Thursday and declared all faculties out of bounds. He said the decision had become necessary because no activity had taken place at the university following a strike by lectures who demanded for among others, the resignation or sacking of Prof. Ndiege and top up allowances.

Upon the start of the first semester, the university was locked in administrative wrangles and its newly- appointed university council found itself making decisions and overturning the same decisions in a desperate move to keep the institution in operation.

It is not clear yet when the university is expected to re-open. Students had earlier attempted to match to Parliament to petition the Speaker before their school was closed but they were blocked by police, who contained them at campus before the news of the closure finally reached them.