Makerere University Vice Chancellor Prof Barnabas Nawangwe on Monday flashed a ray of hope, signaling a possible end to the university staff strike which had entered its third week.
Nawangwe this afternoon addressed a joint General Assembly of staff associations of Makerere University; MUASA, MASA and NUEI, whose heads he recently suspended, sparking the industrial action.
The joint assembly at the Makerere Main Hall followed an earlier meeting between the suspended association leaders and the university management headed by the VC.
During the first meeting, Nawangwe revealed that that an agreement was reached between the two sides to “start a new chapter.”
“My last words during that meeting were that ‘we are stronger together,” the VC announced to an applauding general assembly.
“I would like to say, that we have agreed to begin a new chapter of mutual respect”
Nawangwe suspended the the heads of the staff associations led by Deus Kamunyu of MUASA, accusing them of insubordination and inciting other staff members to disrupt university business.
Even though he didn’t disclose the resolutions of today’s meeting, Nawangwe implied that an agreement was reached to reopen the university as negotiations between the two sides carry on.
The compromise, he said was premised on consideration of the image of the university, which has been taking a lot of heat.
“We are considered the top black university in the world,” he said.
“Everybody is looking at us and asking ‘how do these black people behave?’ We need to lead by example.”
“This is why I came here to reaffirm that we as management are committed to starting a new chapter and that a dialogue to create total harmony and mutual respect will continue”