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I am being witch hunted on tribal grounds – MUST VC says as strike enters day five

Mbarara University of Science and Technology VC Prof. Obua Celestine in his office. (PML Daily PHOTO)

MBARARA – Prof. Celestine Obua, the embattled Vice Chancellor for Mbarara University of Science and Technology has claimed people that are fighting him are basing on tribal grounds and childish politicking.

In an interview with PML Daily, Prof. Obua said that it is very unfortunate that a group of people who call themselves educated want to use mob justice, scare tactics, arm twisting and blackmail to the university council despite the fact that they are doing their job.

His comments come five days after the academic and none academic staff at MUST unanimously voted to lay down their tools until Prof. Obua and the University Secretary leave the university premises.

“They are very sure that council is doing its role but what they did was intended to blackmail it so that it comes up with a decision that favours them, these people have not taken into consideration that parents in Uganda have entrusted their children [to the university] to be educated and mentored. They should not think that Mbarara University is for only employees, parents are also stakeholders and government has invested a lot,” said Prof. Obua said.

All heads of departments and dean faculties showing support of the strike. (PHOTO/BOB AINE)

On mismanagement of funds, Obua said that the university is audited every year and that there is no single time when a report has come up implicating him on grounds of mismanaging funds.

“The university has not appeared before the committee of Public Accounts Committee, all I can say is that there are individuals who have their personal problems because some accuse me of not taking them for trips, some told me that they do not like me because I’m not appointed by the president that I’m simply appointed by council, some wanted me to appoint them in the contracts committee which I declined because that is influence peddling,” said Prof. Obua.

Before adding, “The likes of Dr. Viola Nyakato the Dean faculty of Interdisciplinary studies want her husband to be employed as a lecturer yet he does not have a first degree, some are deans in other universities but they are fighting hard to bring this great institution down and they are using people who don’t have the opportunity to get employment anywhere”.

Members of staffs voting on the industrial action. (PHOTO/BOB AINE)

Prof. Obua said mob justice cannot work, “You cannot accuse somebody, make the judgment and take a decision of what should be done. They are undermining the role of council and arm-twisting council to act on their recommendations. Is that how they want this institution to be managed? They have officially communicated in writing we shall also communicate to council and then they will come out with what to do”.

“Of course I cannot fail to say that some belong to opposition parties and they say they do not want a person from another tribe which I think is unfortunate.  I had been barred by council from speaking to media but now since they have pushed me to also speak, I will expose all those that have tried to ask me for favours and when I rejected they turned against me

The industrial action comes at the time when students are preparing to do their end of semester examinations.

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