MAKERERE – President Museveni has commended the Makerere University Vice Chancellor and the University Council for taking disciplinary action against errant members of staff.
Presiding over the 69th graduation ceremony of the university on Tuesday, President Museveni said impunity should not be tolerated at the oldest public university in the country.
“I must congratulate Prof Barnabas Nawangwe and the University Council for being decisive in disciplining staff. Decadence should not be part of a university,” the President said.
“It is very embarrassing to see a so-called lecturer in court for raping a young girl and he is still teaching, that is rubbish, they should exist,” President Museveni said.
“Nawangwe has proved that people from the remote part of the country do better jobs than the ones who have been rotating in Kampala. If you commit the crime, you should resign by yourself. We do not want we do not want indiscipline, crime, cheating marks, decadence in Makerere University,” he added.
Late last month, the university council sacked 45 members of staff for different disciplinary cases ranging from missing teaching to insubordination. The group has since petitioned the Speaker of Parliament.
During the graduation ceremony that will last the next four days, Mr Museveni said that the NRM government is committed to ensuring that university staff are remunerated well, and eventually we shall match global standards.
“This will be done gradually and in tandem with the country’s economic growth. In doing this, we must also prioritize. Not all university staff will get a salary enhancement at the same time. We need to fight the war of capacity building in a disciplined way like we did the liberation war,” he said.
The President urged the academics to engage in relevant research.
“For example, you must investigate why Africa, with the exception of Ethiopia, was easy to colonise and how this should be avoided. Academics should not only understand the history of Africa, but also the laws of nature; how to tame and manipulate them for the benefit of man,” he said.
“Social science disciplines should aim at art music, entertainment and meaningful intellectuality. If this teaching is done correctly and purposefully, then the products (graduates) will be useful to society.”
For graduands in the arts, where job uptake is low, Mr Museveni said government will offer support through the various youth programmes, using low-interest loans and grants to start ventures like maize milling, carpentry, leather tanning, etc.
“Eventually these should become owners of capital units and job creators. It will also help reduce Uganda’s import bill when we stop buying items like furniture, construction materials etc, from abroad,” he said.
“I thank Makerere university for recognizing Dr Muranga, Dr. Gilbert Gumoshabe, Alice Muhoozi and myself for our thesaurus (Katondozi) authored in Runyakitara. These indigenous languages are very rich, that is why I thought it important to contribute to their preservation.”