By Andrew Irumba
Kampala: There is a vicious cold war raging on between the Makerere University Business School (MUBS) principal Prof. Waswa Balunwya and a lecturer identified as Isaac Wanzige Magoola.
Trouble at the institution started last Tuesday when Balunwya suspended Magoola, who is the MUBS Dean Faculty of Entrepreneurship and Business Administration and also the Acting Chairperson of the MUBS staff association known as MUBASA.
In the suspension letter, Balunwya 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, referring to Magoola’s recent letter to the Permanent Secretary, 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 head of Faculty untenable and shows a conflict of interest.” On receiving the suspension letter on Thursday however, Dr Magoola hit back at the Principal, defiantly rejecting the directive and calling him out order for apparently overstepping his authority. Magoola trashed 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.
He argued 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 noted, he wouldn’t be the first person to serve in the staff association and the top university management.
Magoola wrote that; “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 alleged that Balunywa is doing this just because he has a personal vendetta against him.
“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 accused Balunywa of allegedly 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. It is not yet clear whether Magoola has since remained on duty teaching or is defiantly waiting until the matter is sorted out.