21 June 2019

Uganda: Prof Bazeyo Bounces Back As Makerere Dvc

Hardly a week after court quashed his substantive appointment, Prof William Bazeyo, has bounced back as Makerere University deputy vice chancellor for finance and administration in acting capacity.

On June 14, High Court Judge Musa Ssekaana nullified the appointment of Prof Bazeyo on account that he was recruited irregularly.

Court on Friday ordered Prof Bazeyo out of office observing that the university's search committee violated its mandate as set out in the terms of reference when they forwarded only his name to the University Senate for onward submission to the University Council.

However, in a June 17 letter, the Makerere University chancellor, Prof Ezra Suruma, appointed Prof Bazeyo as acting deputy vice chancellor until the position is substantively filled or until any further notice.

"Following court's nullification of your appointment as the substantive deputy vice chancellor (finance and administration, this is to direct you to revert to the position of acting deputy vice chancellor which you were holding previously," reads Prof Suruma's letter. However, Mr Anthony Wameli, the lawyer who represented the complainant, Prof Anthony Mugisha yesterday described the university's decision as contempt of court and trying to circumvent a court order.

"It is clear that Prof Bazeyo was removed from office and court directed that a substantive deputy vice chancellor for finance and administration be sought through a due process of the law. It should be Makerere (university's) pre-occupation to embark on the process immediately," said Mr Wameli revealing that they have already written to the university administration demanding that a process be started.

According to Mr Wameli, appointing of Prof Bazeyo in acting capacity would make a meaning if they had appointed the search committee to start on the process of appointing a substantive deputy vice chancellor.

"We have given them up to the end of this week and we shall process contempt of court proceedings against all the responsible university officials with a view of committing them to civil prison unless if they comply," he said.

Mr Wameli said: "We are also aware that they (Makerere University) have filed a notice of appeal but that alone is no excuse not to comply with the court order. An appeal is not a bar to comply with the court order."

Chancellors decision

The university communications director, Dr Muhamad Kiggundu, told Daily Monitor in a separate interview that the appointment of Prof Bazeyo in acting capacity was a decision of the university chancellor.

"Under the law, the chancellor is mandated to choose anyone of his choice to act. We have to follow what he directed," he said.

Dr Kiggundu revealed that they have since dissolved Prof Bazeyo's substantive post to allow a process for search in line with the law.

Council position

The Makerere University Council chairperson, Dr Lorna Magara, said she is waiting for a report from the university legal team in order to initiate another process as court directed.

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