Makerere University vice chancellor Prof. Ddumba Ssentamu has said that the events leading to a naked protest by Dr. Stella Nyanzi, a research fellow at Makerere Institute of Social Research (MISR) were provoked by the institute’s Executive Director Prof. Mahmood Mamdani.
In a statement issued yesterday, Prof. Ddumba said Mamdani had earlier assured the university deputy vice chancellor that he would cooperate in finding an amicable solution to the standoff when asked to desist from locking Stella’s office.
“Professor Mamdani proceeded to lock Dr. Nyanzi out of her office which triggered the unfortunate standoff that ensued at MISR on Monday morning,” Prof. Ddumba said in the statement.
Prof. Ddumba yesterday also named an eight member committee led by Prof David Justin Bakibinga (chairperson) – professor of Commercial Law in the School of Law to investigate the saga.
However, Prof. Mamdani on Tuesday said the Vice Chancellor lacks the moral authority and objectivity to set up and provide oversight for such a Committee.”
“He is partisan and has a clear conflict of interest due to his close family relationship with Dr. Stella Nyanzi…The VC should exclude himself from the process. This would allow the Committee to conduct its work in an impartial manner as well as to look into the VC’s own conduct, in particular, the extent of the VC’s involvement in encouraging, fomenting and prolonging insubordination of both Dr. Nyanzi and a few graduate students of MISR, all of whom have been increasingly emboldened by what they see as the support towards their cause from the highest office in this institution; and the basis and accuracy of allegations the VC presented before the Appointments Board over the last few months to bolster his case against the PhD programme at MISR and the renewal of the Director’s contract,” Mamdani said.