April 25, 2013

MUK College Principals Appointment Process Stalls Again

Tanga Odoi Addressing Press Last Year
Tanga Odoi Addressing Press Last Year

The appointment of college principals at Makerere University has stalled due to lack of transparency in the process, the chancellor Professor Mondo Kagonyera has revealed. Early this year, Makerere University established a search committee chaired by Professor Mnson Tweheyo to interview candidates for appointment as college principals. The candidates were subjected to oral and written interviews, which was concluded with elections. The names of the successful candidates were submitted to the senate chaired by Professor John Ssentamu Ddumba, the Makerere University vice chancellor for further scrutiny. The names were later sent to the university council chaired by Dr. Eng. Charles Wana Etyem, which selected 11 candidates on April 14th for appointment as college principals and deputy principals.

They include Prof Edward Kirumira, Prof Abasi Kiyimba, Prof Benard Bashaasha, Dr. Gorette Nabanoga, Dr. Fredrick Masagaazi Masaazi, Dr. Anthony Muwanga Mugaga,  Prof John David Kabasa, Dr. Jesca Nakavuma Lukanga, Prof Joseph Y.T Mugisha, Dr. John Magero Mango and Dr. Henry Alinaitwe. However, Professor Mondo Kagonyera, the MUK chancellor declined to approve the nominees citing lack of transparency. Kagonyera who did not divulge details told URN in an exclusive interview on Wednesday that he upholds the principle of transparency which was lacking in the selection process. The chancellor explained that he had already communicated his position to the university council.

Dr. Wana Etyem, the chairperson of Makerere university council told URN later that he had not yet received communication on why the appointment of the college principals had stalled. He explained that as members of the university council they executed their role and recommended the names of the successful candidates for appointment to the chancellor. Dr. Etyem however, said that where querries arise, the matter has to be referred to the university council for remedial action. Dr. Tanga Odoi, the former chairperson Makerere University Academic Staff Association says that the university went through a hectic time to come up with substantive principles and their deputies but the process has been affected by favoritism.
Dr. Tanga says that he has started mobilizing the colleges to seek legal redress to compel the chancellor to appoint the principles.
Accusations of lack of transaparence started after two contestants petitioned Professor John Ddumba Ssentamu citing electoral malpractice. Associate professor John Bosco Acon and Professor Samuel Kyamanywa contested for election as principals of the College of Veterinary Medicine Animal and Bio security [COVAB] and Agriculture and Environmental Sciences respectively. After losing Professor Samuel Kyamanywa, who is the outgoing principal in the college of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences wrote to Professor John Ddumba contesting the poll results citing irregularities.

Both Professor Johnson Acon and Kyamanywa claimed that the search process was marred by corruption, greed and fell below the required standards. However, their petition was dismissed by the senate as baseless and unfounded. It is not clear, when the university will resolve the matter and have substantive principals in place.

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