WASHINGTON DC/MAKERERE – Kyadondo East MP Robert Kyagulanyi, aka Bobi Wine, has thrown his weight behind the teaching and non-teaching staff of Makerere University, who are on strike, protesting the suspension of their leaders.
The teaching and non-teaching staff laid down their tools on January 19 following the suspension of their leaders for alleged indiscipline and inciting fellow staff. They are Dr Deus Kamunyu (academic staff), Mr Bennet Magara (administrative staff), and Mr Joseph Kalema (general secretary administrative staff).
And now Bobi Wine, who is in the US, said the strike is justifiable.
“These past weeks, I have been following the events at Makerere University with great concern. I have expressed solidarity with the leadership and membership of MUASA and other Associations at the University in their quest for better working conditions and respect from those who govern the institution,” he said.
I’ve been following the events at Makerere University with great concern. I’ve expressed solidarity with the leadership and membership of MUASA and other Associations at the University in their quest for better working conditions and respect from those who govern the institution pic.twitter.com/RxpTqin5sg
— BOBI WINE (@HEBobiwine) January 30, 2019
“As a result of the prevailing situation, students have been caught up in the mess and are not having classes. The parents, most of whom struggle to raise tuition, are equally affected. This, of course, is just a symptom of institutional breakdown that we talk about every day,” he added.
The politician-cum artiste said such public institutions will be revived once the government changes hands.
“It is only when we have taken our country back that we shall have institutions such as Makerere University serve the interests of the nation, as opposed to serving the regime in power or even interests of those who run them. The task is before us. I just want to express solidarity with the students, staff as well as their leaders and assure you of our support as you demand your rights,” he added.
The striking staff are also demanding that the university remove Mr Thomas Tayebwa and Mr Bruce Kabaasa from the University Council, end attacks on the autonomy of staff associations and facilitate the staff tribunal to hear staff appeals expeditiously.
“We shall overcome because the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.” Martin Luther King Jr pic.twitter.com/bYrEwdn7ci
— BOBI WINE (@HEBobiwine) January 29, 2019
The university has to date failed to rescind the suspensions of the three staff leaders but have instead formed a three-member committee to investigate the grounds under which Dr Kamunyu was suspended before any decision can be made. The committee will give its findings within three weeks.
However, the staff have rejected the move, saying the person who made the suspensions cannot be the same to form an investigation committee.