Kyambogo VC left to run varsity alone as staff strike enters day 2
Posted Thursday, October 31 2013 at 10:26
Kampala- Kyambogo University staff strike yesterday entered a day-two with both the top administration and management staying away from duty.
The strike leaders emphatically noted that “not until” the Vice Chancellor, Prof Isaiah Ndiege “leaves” office, services to the institution will stay frozen even if it means closure, and sending students back home.
In what seemed as another development, some top administrative officers like the deputy vice chancellors, and bursars, also joined the staff strike.
University spokesperson Lawrence Madete when contacted could not provide definitive explanation why the top administrators were staying away, after closing all offices and lecture rooms.
“Council is trying to contain the situation, though I am not certain how fast it will be done,” Mr Madete, said adding, “Since some administrators belong to associations, it’s no wonder they did not turn up for duty.”
The staff have three associations, Kyambogo University Senior Administrative Staff Association, National Union Educational Institutions, and Kyambogo University Academic Staff Association.
Call for calm
Meanwhile, Prof Ndiege, who sparked off the industrial action on his return to office on Tuesday as ordered by Court, was seen at the campus restoring hope to the students, and appealing for calm.
“I cannot stop all staff from striking but there are those who are still around, and are willing to teach but the lecture rooms were locked and keys taken,” Prof Ndiege said.
“But I have ordered the human resource manager to have them reopened by tomorrow (today) for normal activities to resume,” he added.
Insiders in the administration intimated that the university council (the top decision making body) some of whose members are said to be championing the strike, is trying to appeal the decision to have Mr Ndiege in office.
“Council is now seeking the intervention of the Court of Appeal, though they have not yet been successful since Monday,” an official, who is not authorised to speak about the matter said.
“In fact, they had tried filing one but the registrar told them to base their need for judicial review on the law, and not the status quo, and that an application is specifically handled by a judge who was not present,” the official added.
Student leaders had also mobilised to march to the Education ministry headquarters, but were frustrated by Police.
Since 2012, the public institution has been bedeviled by a series of students’ and lecturers’ strikes stemming from alleged maladministration and financial crises. In September, university students protested a new fees policy that required them to pay full tuition fees in six weeks after the start of the semester.
Led by their guild president, Mr John Mugabi, the students went on rampage challenging the policy which was dictated a month before they returned from holidays. In April, top university officials, students and casual workers engineered an investigation into the misappropriation of Shs5.5 billion at the University. The probe was launched by Kampala metropolitan police boss Andrew Kaweesi.