Museveni backs Nawangwe on sacking Makerere staff

Officiating. President Museveni and First Lady Janet Museveni during the 69th graduation ceremony at Makerere University grounds on January 15, 2019. PHOTO BY RACHEL MABALA

What you need to know:

  • The university chancellor, Prof Ezra Suruma, challenged the graduates to unlock Uganda’s vast potential in natural resources, aggressively revolutionise agricultural productivity and processing.
  • At the graduation ceremony yesterday, President Museveni implored the new graduates to organise themselves into groups so that government supports them with grants, low interest loans or interest free loans to carry out businesses.

Kampala. President Museveni yesterday supported Makerere University Vice Chancellor Prof Barnabas Nawangwe for sacking 45 staff especially those who were accused of sexually harassing or abusing female students.
The university appointments board on December 22, 2018 dismissed 45 staff for diverse offences that included fathering children with female students, awarding marks to students in exchange for sex, insubordination, assault and failure to hand in students examination marks in time, among other ills.

“I want to congratulate Prof Nawangwe and his team for being decisive in disciplining lecturers and staff. It is very embarrassing to see a so-called lecturer in court for raping a young girl and he is still teaching. That is rubbish, they should exit,” President Museveni said in support of Makerere University’s decision to sack the implicated staff.
He was speaking during the university’s 69th graduation ceremony at Makerere main campus which kicked off yesterday and will last up to Friday.

The President said staff who are involved in sexual harassment of students, besides other cases of indiscipline, should not be tolerated at the university.
“Nawangwe has proved that people from the remote part of the country can do better jobs than the ones who have been rotating in Kampala. If you commit a crime, you should resign by yourself. We do not want indiscipline, crime, cheating exams, decadency… at Makerere University,” Mr Museveni added.

Some staff who were sacked over alleged sexual harassment include a lecturer in School of Social Sciences who was accused of acts likely to undermine the university’s image and status. The lecturer’s trouble started after a story was run on NBS TV on February 26, 2018 implicating him of attempting to have sex with his female student in exchange for marks. The fired staff have since protested their dismissal and petitioned Parliament for intervention.
They contend that the university administration terminated their employment unfairly and unjustifiably.
They have also appealed to the university tribunal.

Graduates advised
At the graduation ceremony yesterday, President Museveni implored the new graduates to organise themselves into groups so that government supports them with grants, low interest loans or interest free loans to carry out businesses.
“It is not right to say that there are no jobs in Uganda. The youths are just disorganised. I am imploring them to form groups so that we can give them money to do various businesses like leather turning or maize processing. I do not see the reason why we should import certain items which can be manufactured from here,” the President said.

Challenged
The university chancellor, Prof Ezra Suruma, challenged the graduates to unlock Uganda’s vast potential in natural resources, aggressively revolutionise agricultural productivity and processing.
He said this will enable Uganda’s agricultural products compete in domestic, regional and global markets.

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