For a second time in less than a five weeks, President Yoweri Museveni has backed Makerere University vice chancellor.
Last month, President Museveni described the Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe ‘as a decisive man when disciplining lecturers.’
This week, Museveni said; “Nawangwe is an Engineer, a professor of Technology and wants to restore discipline to this institution. People want to continue with buyayesism,” the President said in a statement distributed by his press department.
While indirectly referring to Dr Stella Nyanzi who undressed in 2016 while protesting attempts to lock her out of office, the President said, “Imagine a professor who strips naked and is cheered on. Makerere is a centre of study not stupidity. I am firmly behind him.”
Dr Nyanzi was then a research fellow at the institute and has since been expelled from Makerere.
The President was responding to questions about the conflict between Makerere University administration and academic staff after launching the six phase of the Presidential Investors Roundtable at State House this week. Prof Nawangwe has been in the spotlight for suspending several lecturers including Dr Deus Kamunyu Muhwezi, the Chairperson Makerere University Academic Staff Association (Muasa), Bennet Magara, the Chairperson Makerere Administrative Staff Association (Masa) and his General Secretary, Joseph Kalema for alleged indiscipline and inciting staff.
Last year, 32 staff member were expelled while 13 others were suspended for absconding from duty, failure to complete studies, financial fraud, assault and actions prejudicial to the university image, negligence from duty and insubordination.
This led to the announcement of industrial action a few days before the university opened, with staff saying they will only work after suspensions of their leaders are lifted.