By Andrew Irumba
Kampala: Students are stranded at Mbarara University of Science and Technology (MUST), after lecturers and non-teaching staff staging a massive strike.
The striking members of staff are voicing a lot of grievances which they claim the University Council has failed to solve for a long time.
The lecturers have also demanded the immediate suspension and or dismissal of the Vice Chancellor Prof. Celestino Obua who they allege has made their lives on earth hell. Dr. John Emenyu, the Chairperson of the Mbarara University of Science and Technology Academic Staff Association (MUSTASA) said the staff have laid their tools as a last resort after the university council failed to handle their issues with urgency. The lecturers accuse Obua and the university accounting officer of lack of transparency and allegedly embezzling funds meant for operations of the university.
They want the University Council to immediately relieve Prof Obua of his duties in public interest. Obua is six months’ away from retirement. They also say they want the search committee to be empowered to start the process of searching for the next Vice-Chancellor. The strike comes only a fortnight after they suspended the strike and issued a two-week ultimatum to allow the university council to sort their issues.
The staff accused the institution management of mismanagement of financial resources, bleaching the human resources manual, unfair recruitment of staff and misuse of university property. Dr John Emenyu, the Chairperson of the Mbarara University of Science and Technology Academic Staff Association –MUSTASA said the staff laid down their tools as a last resort after the university council failed to handle their issues with urgency. Dr Emenyu said in a joint statement issued with Charles Kakuru, the Chairperson of the institution’s chapter of the National Union of Educational Institutions –NUEI following an emergency general assembly on Thursday.