Drama is unfolding at Makerere University Business School (MUBS) as the Principal Prof Wasswa Balunywa flexes muscle with one of his senior staff members.
Balunywa on Tuesday penned a suspension letter to Dr Isaac Wanzige Magoola, who is the MUBS Dean Faculty of Entrepreneurship and Business Administration.
Magoola is also the Acting Chairperson of the MUBS staff association known as MUBASA.
Principle Balunywa in the suspension letter, argued that Dr Magoola cannot serve in both positions, which he claims would be “conflict of interest.”
“You were elected, appointed and you now serve as the Dean of the Faculty of Entrepreneurship and Business Administration, and therefore you serve as part of top management in the school,” wrote Balunywa.
“You recently chaired a MUBASA meeting and you have now authored a letter as the Acting Chairman,” he added, referencing Magoola’s recent letter to the PS, Ministry of Public Service.
“As Principal, I have no business in the election and appointment of the leadership of MUBASA. Your letter makes your position of Dead of Faculty untenable and shows a conflict of interest.”
On receiving this suspension letter on Thursday however, Dr Magoola hit back at the Principal, squarely defying the directive and calling him out for apparently overstepping his authority.
Magoola termed Balunywa’s suspension as “illegal and inconsequential,” pointing out that the latter is neither his appointing authority nor legally occupying the Principal’s office.
“Your term as Principal expired and you have never been put through the established competitive process,” he wrote.
Magoola argues that by virtue of being a staff member with a right to association, nothing stops him from voting or being voted as leader of the staff association.
Besides, he notes, he wouldn’t be the first person to serve in the staff association and the top university management.
“At MUBS, Dr Annet Nabatanzi, Dr Akampumuza and Dr Arthur Ahimbisibwe were chairpersons as well as members of the MUBS management committee. At Kyambogo, Rev Grace Lubaale is a Head of Department and chairman KYUASA…On the current MUBASA Executive, Dr Isaac Nkote, Dr Stephen Nkundabanyanga and Dr Kitui Mayoka are members of Management.”
Magoola claims that Baluywa overstepping the normal procedures to single him out without referring to any laws or rules, is all out of personal vendetta.
“This is evidenced by my insistence on a forensic human resource audit which will reveal people closely related to you, whom you have elevated to lecturers when they have pass and lower second degrees.”
Magola also accuses Balunywa of trying to prevent him from becoming the Faculty Dean, by among others refusing to declare the position vacant, and later delaying the elections to the position, “until (Balunywa’s) preferred candidate staggered through graduation with PhD which (Magoola) had attained 7 years earlier.”
ChimpReports was yet to confirm whether or not Magoola was still on duty by Monday afternoon.
The University spokesman Peter Odoki also couldn’t confirm whether Magoola left office in accordance with the suspension letter, telling us on phone; “When the boss, who is the Chief Executive of the School suspends a Dean, it is not the duty of the PRO to follow up and find out if the Dean has left.”
Odoki however insisted that Magoola has no choice but to leave the Dean’s office.
“He cannot refuse to go, the Principal is the Chief Executive of this institution,” Odoki said.
“If you work within this institution, you are within his authority.”
On the claims raised by Dr Magoola against Balunywa, Odoki says there are a number of avenues within the institution through which he could have raised them; stressing that Balunywa is “not the alpha and omega of MUBS.”