MAMDANI-NYAZI SAGA:A former staff member weighs in


By Christine Lubwa Oryema Lalobo

Its people like Barya who caused this problem by not adhering to procedures and system. You cannot tell and encourage a Supervisor to variate a staff JD using the clause ‘Any other duty assigned by the supervisor as that clause is for emerging, unpredictable and temporary tasks. What The Baryas did was to create a new hybrid cadre at MISR. Once they did that it was incumbent upon them to proceed and complete the paperwork and issue to staff new Terms and Conditions of service and most likely new Titles too. At Makerere University there are Academic staff that comprise those who lecture and conduct research and publish, those who conduct research only and publish, those who work in the Library. All these categories have basic qualifications for entry into the University service, Job rankings and career path clearly defined. There is still no hybrid Researchers/Lecturers and it needed to be created and all staff affected officially given time to consider accepting the change of a phase out plan worked out.
Prof Mamdani should have known better. In his quest to be the Big Man he forgot the systems and procedures. Grievance Handling, conflict resolution and disciplinary measures are all clearly outlined in the University Staff Manual and if my memory serves me right evicting staff from office is not one of them. In fact the final act at separation includes handing over University equipment and keys and involves the Estate Department before the Exit Form is signed off. Makerere University continues to have Researchers at The Economic Policy Research Centre, The Child Health and Development Centre, Buyana Stock Farm, The Biological Field Station Kibale and many other such ‘Departments’.

On the other hand Stella too went overboard. Granted she might have ran temporarily mad but who wants a lunatic as their staff? God forbid because Professor Mamdani was forcing her to teach and there is strong possibility that she could have broken down in front of the eminent Mamdani Ph.D students. They would have been permanently damaged and suffered Trauma for the rest of their lives.

This should be a good lesson however currently most people are so taken up by the money talk it’s sickening!

Our mothers who pay 19% tax VAT on everything they purchase are making sacrifices too. They in effect fund most of us! Hyuha actually gets it…many others don’t!

Stella overreacted but the Institutional framework was abandoned and people are working using their feelings rather than procedures. That is a very dangerous trend.

For those who say if MM leaves the Ph.D program will collapse I say if the PhD program depends on only one person then the earlier it collapses the better!

Stella has a contract that she signed designating her as a Researcher a bona fide position at The University. After her employment and working in the position she was appointed a Ph.D International hybrid program was launched at MISR. MISR was founded in 1948 as an East African Social Science Research (not teaching) Institute. Teaching always happened at the Faculty now School of Humanities and Social Science. There are Ph.D students enrolled there too…so this is a parallel program. It appears MM asked and was allowed to ‘make’ all researchers at the Institute who had Ph.Ds to begin lecturing without amending their contracts or JDs or Job Titles. Stella says she cannot lecture because her contract is for a researcher not a lecturer. MM says if Stella cannot lecture she must leave the office and work from the Library…the rest you know.

Basically the entire issue has been mismanaged with MM ignoring Institutional Procedures and systems and offices and taking charge even where he does not have the power to and Stella over reacting and we end up with uncalled for friction!

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