KAMPALA — The High Court will on July 13 hear an application intended to freez the decision of Makerere University Vice Chancellor Barnabas Nawangwe suspending the University Secretary Dr. Charles Barugahare pending an investigation.
In an application for judicial review filed before the High Court in Kampala on Friday, Dr. Barugahare, through his lawyers of M/s. Akampumuza & Co. Advocates, also protests his removal as the University’s Accounting Officer, and a accuses Prof. Nawangwe of witchhunt.
“The second respondent (Prof. Nawangwe) in all his actions is victimising me for having performed my duties and refused to bow to his pressures to approve questionable expenditures, consents, contracts and decisions that would have cost the (Makerere University) huge sums of money”, Dr. Barugahare says in his affidavit before High Court adding;
“…Prof. Nawangwe orchestrated a scheme to remove me from my job of University Secretary and asked the Permanent Secretary/Secretary to the Treasury (PS/SST) of the 4th Respondent to irregularly appoint my deputy, the 3rd Respondent as Accounting Officer effective 1/7/2020.”
Prof. Nawangwe in his suspension letter of Dr. Barugahare notes that the University Secretary was responsible for the embarrassing gown scandal which marred the University’s 70th graduation ceremony, a claim Dr. Baruhagare vehemently describes as false and concocted accusations aimed at removing him from office.
Dr. Baruhagare says he was away on study leave during that specific procurement.
In his court petition, he says the second respondent (Nawangwe) in the said letter made outright false and concocted accusations against him trumped up to achieve his scheme to get him out of office…. “And that [he] set up what he called a concocted management investigation committee to allegedly try me on his trumped up charges”.
Prof. Nawangwe claimed that the internal investigations show that Dr. Barugahare flouted several procurement guidelines when he awarded a procurement contract to Team Uniform Ltd, a private firm to supply 13,500 gowns for this year’s graduation in January.
The contractor only managed to deliver 6,383 gowns, 900 caps and 6,792 hoods a few days to the event triggering panic among graduands who had already paid for the gowns.
Makerere had managed to collect up to UGX.1.3 billion from the 13,500 graduands for the patented gowns.
Prof. Nawangwe adds that even the few gowns that were delivered were insufficient with some lacking hoods or caps.
Now, Nawangwe says investigations have pinned Dr. Barugahare for the mess.
“The accounting officer did not seek the Solicitor General’s approval of the draft contract document in contravention of regulation 1 (1) of the PPDA (Contracts) Regulations, 2014 and Statutory Instrument No. 97 of 2014,” Prof. Nawangwe quotes findings of investigating team.
But Barugahare says; “I am the statutory secretary to Council and any decision to force me on leave or punish me for any reason requires the direct deliberations and approval of the Council”.
He says all these process is being flouted as Prof. Nawangwe seeks to replace him.
Makerere University has recently had staff trouble with court fining the University millions of shillings out of poorly handled staff disputes.