A fresh storm is brewing at Makerere University over the decision by the Vice Chancellor to send on leave Professor Robert Wamala, the Dean School of Statistics & Planning (SSP), following several staff and student petitions against him over his management style.
In an April 23 letter, Prof Barnabas Nawangwe asked Prof Wamala to go on leave until the university appointments board determines his fate following a petition against him by several staff from the school. This was in response to Prof Wamala’s April 20, indicating that he was taking his annual leave but that he had not found someone to leave as acting dean.
Two thirds of the lecturers from SSP in November last year signed a petition, calling for for the removal of Dr Wamala from the office of the Dean, accusing him of usurping responsibilities of departments by appointing staff without consultations with the relevant units, holding ill constituted management meetings and holding doctoral committee meetings without informing the committee member.
The lecturers also accused him of diminishing the visibility of the school by not responding to important communications from development partners, frustrating the appointment of supervisors for graduate students and blocking staff promotions and appointments.
However, Prof Nawangwe delayed action on the matter and instead referred it to the University Council for action.
And in March, the University Council and Appointments Board investigated the matter and concluded that there was no merit in the accusations against Prof Wamala and recommended that the matter be internally resolved among staff at SSP.
And now sources say some members of the university council were dismayed that Prof Nawangwe disregarded the recommendations of the council on Prof Wamala’s fate and went ahead to send him on leave.
“As council we sat and ratified the findings of the Appointments Board on that Wamala issue and VC should have widely consulted before acting in the way he did in his 23rd April letter,” said a council member, who also sits on the appointments board.
They accuse him of taking the action to appease his friend, Prof Elisha Isare, the Principal of the College of Business and Management Studies (COBAMS).
“It’s even more angering he never bothered to seek the concurrence of Chairman Council Eng Wana Etyem yet his deputy William Bazeyo was recently graceful enough to consult before signing off Edward Kisule’s suspension after being photographed sexually molesting Njoroge [the Kenyan student] in the transcripts office,” said a Council member.
A committee set up by Prof Nawangwe himself had recommended that the situation at SSP was bigger than just Prof Wamala as an individual.
The VC is also under fire for appointing Ms Agnes Sekibobo to serve as Acting Dean of SSP, yet she also reportedly had a poor disciplinary record against her while serving as Acting COBAMS Principal. It is alleged that in that capacity, she was accused of sex harassment and a case had been reported against her against the CIID operatives in Kibuli, Kampala.
Sources have revealed that Prof Wamala is mulling suing Prof Nawangwe for wrongful dismissal from work