KAMPALA – Prof Christopher Mbazira has resigned his position as the Principal of the School of Law as the latter is embroiled in a bitter feud with Makerere University management over demand for autonomy as a constituent college.
Prof Mbazira, who has been acting Principal since June 19, 2017, had on November 29 written to the Vice-Chancellor, Prof Barnabas Nawangwe, saying he was leaving his role in order not to flout university policies.
“This is to inform you that I will be stepping down from the position of Acting Principal in order not to infringe University policies as indicated in the director’s letter. However, in order to enable the smooth conduct of business for purposes of wrapping the semester, I intend to leave office on December 7, 2019, at the end of Semester I 2019/2020,” he stated.
This was after the University Legal Affairs director Henry Mwebe, in a November 25, 2019 letter to the acting University Secretary Yusuf Kiranda, disclosed that the acting Principal of the school had served for over 15 months, which he argued was in contravention of section 2.6 of the Human Resources Manual, 2019.
The School of Law wants to be declared an independent college while the university management wants it revert to either the College of Humanities and Social Sciences (CHUSS) or College of Business and Management Sciences (CoBAMS).
The University Council argues the Uganda National Council for Higher Education (NCHE) has not yet approved the Law School as a constituent college. But law dons argue that internal processes of giving the school a College status were completed by a resolution of the University Council on May 22, 2014.
The law dons also contend that it is irregular for the Legal, Rules and Privileges Committee, a committee of Council, to direct management to implement its resolutions, which should be communicated to Council as recommendations for Council’s consideration.
“The assertion by the LRPC that the College Statute doesn’t apply to the School is not correct and should be disregarded. Sections 53 and 54 of the University and other tertiary institutions statute of 2012 allow the Vice-Chancellor to appoint a Principal in acting capacity for a period of two years. The expiry of two years does not, however, mean that a Unit is downgraded. The Vice-Chancellor could still appoint an Acting Principal until the approval by the NCHE,” law dons state in their resolutions.