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Dossier pins Makerere appointments chief Kabaasa over illegal recruitments

A document exhibiting damning allegation against the Chairman of the University Appointments Board, Bruce Kabaasa Balaba in circulation has attracted the attention of the IGG at Uganda’s top University (PML Daily PHOTO MONTAGE)

MAKERERE – A document in circulation at Makerere University has made damning allegations against the Chairman of the University Appointments Board including corruption and nepotism.

Mr Bruce Kabaasa Balaba is accused of usurping the powers of the Director for Human Resources Mr Andrew Abunyang and in the process unfairly influencing the recruitment processes and undermining staff morale.

“Kabaasa runs the affairs of the University with utter impunity,” the document reads.

“It is very surprising that as academics, we continue to look on as our promotion process has been adulterated by Kabaasa who by the way is bribing his way to become the Chairperson Council on expiry of the current tenure of Dr Etyem,” reads the document being circulated on the University Staff e-mail after the staff association, MUASA gave a vote of no confidence to the University Council.

Mr Kabaasa who has sat on the University Council for the last decade is also accused of hindering intellectual progress of the academic staff by stopping them from supervising students from other universities.

“Kabaasa crafted a document making it treason for any academic staff to supervise other students other than the Makerere University students. Honestly, given the Higher Education dispensation and new world order, is it fair to criminalize supervision of students from other Institutions of learning?”, the writers ask.

Mr Kabaasa has on Tuesday, August 28 refused to comment about the damning allegations against him raised in the document.

He discontinued a telephone conversation when this writer read to him the litany of his alleged transgressions – including sexual abuse allegations, before switching off his phone.

However, MUASA Chairman Dr Deus Muhwezi Kamunyu confirmed that the dossier was on the university staff mailing list.

“Yes, the letter was on our [staff] mailing list. I don’t know who circulated it to you because we were considering it internal,” Dr Kamunyu said.

He, however, noted the issues being raised are “the issues we have always raised as we have continued to struggle for our welfare, against corruption and impunity in our employment systems and to create a corruption-free environment.”

Ms Ritah Namisango, the university public relations officer (PRO) has labelled the information as ‘chemical‘ saying it is aimed at tarnishing Mr Kabaasa and the University’s name.

“That information should be disregarded. It is not true. The same people [who originated the letter] reported the corruption allegations to the office of the IGG [Inspector General of Government], so if they reported why don’t they wait for the IGG to came with a report?” Namisango said.

Mr Kabaasa is a subject of a petition dated May 9 by “graduate support members of staff” to the IGG on “gross abuse of office by the chairperson appointments board” in which he is accused of having influenced the “irregular” recruitment of at least 16 personnel, including an acting Deputy Vice-Chancellor. In the petition, the Inspector General of Government (IGG), is implored to investigate the recent recruitment of the director internal audit, deputy university secretary, director legal affairs, director human resources, director estates and works department and the university librarian.

Early this month, Makerere was also steeped in administrative and management disputes that threaten to pile more problems on the already troubled institution.

Media reports revealed an insider accounts point to fraud, abuse of office, nepotism, corruption, conflict of interest, bribery in recruitment processes, among other things, which have left the staff at Uganda’s premier university ‘demoralised’.

A high ranking Makerere official told this website that “stop-gap appointments”, a temporary measure of recruiting staff until a post can substantively be filled, are being abused by top officials, who solicit favours, including money, to appoint people in those positions and keep them there, most of the time illegally.

The associations include Makerere University Academic Staff Association (Muasa), Makerere Administrative Staff Association (Masa) and the National Union of Educational Institutions.

On June 1, different staff associations of the university under the Forum for Staff Associations met at the University Guest House and discussed some of the issues touching on the irregular appointment of staff and abuse of the “stop-gap appointments”.

Makerere administration and the teaching staff has in the recent past been at war over the alleged rot within the management. The Vice-Chancellor Pro Barnabas Nawangwe since issued intimidation letters to members of staff including Dr Deus Kamunyu Muhwezi Muasa chairman for raising their voices on the state of affairs at the university.

Recently Dr Muhwezi ran to the staff e-mail listing to report harassment and intimidation after the VC issued him with a warning letter for his stance on university management matters including illegal appointments and land grabbing among others.

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