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By Mulengera Reporters

Prof Barnabas Nawangwe, the VC Makerere University, has proposed the creation of a 3rd DVC office so that a 3rd deputy VC is recruited to specifically be in charge of coordinating research & innovation programs.

During the Senate meeting yesterday 18th March, Prof Nawangwe tabled his proposal as part of his communication from the chair because as VC, he is the one who chairs Senate which is the topmost academic decision-making body at the University.

The technology Professor from Busia suggested that this new DVC office needs to be urgently created and operationalized as part of the broader efforts to transform Makerere into a research-intensive academic institution.

The other actions that must be undertaken to fast track this plan include gradually diminishing the number of students admitted on bachelor’s programs while increasing on those joining on graduate or master’s programs which tend to be more focused on research.

The other interventions include training staff on writing research grants-solicitation proposals, establishing multi-disciplinary think tanks and establishing research journals in all academic disciplines. As part of research function restructuring program, Nawangwe wants the policy governing retirement of Professors and Associate Professors reviewed, something some critics have interpreted to be a disguised effort by the VC to prolong his eligibility to stay on at Makerere longer without being constrained by age requirements.

Still in the interest of promoting research, Prof Nawangwe wants government to provide additional funding so that the staff promotions, which had been halted earlier on, can be resumed. But there are voices within Senate that are sharply opposed to this Nawangwe proposal on the need to create 3rd DVC position.

Some of the critics argue that this would be duplicity and wastage of resources because there is already a well strengthened Directorate of Research & Graduate studies headed by Prof Mukadasi Buyinza. It’s a Directorate that is well staffed with a practice spanning over 20 years now.

Since inception over 20 years ago, the Directorate (whose head Buyinza some in top management aren’t comfortable with because of his honesty and incorruptibility) has handled over Shs600bn research funds without any of the donors ever raising any accountability queries. Those that are in favor of the Nawangwe proposal consider the much-tormented Prof William Bazeyo as a potentially good candidate to become the pioneer holder of the office of DVC Research & Innovations.

Since having his appointment as DVC F&A disputed by Prof Anthony Mugisha who he competed with years earlier, Bazeyo hasn’t had peace in the DVC F&A office, a thing that has prompted some to consider creation of DVC Research & Innovations as an alternative way to put his fundraising skills to greater use.

From the same Senate meeting yesterday, some members left uncomfortable after VC Nawangwe communicated what they called misinformation. The VC updated the meeting that the new search process for DVC F&A had been delayed because the management and Council are waiting for legal advice from the Solicitor General on how to proceed as Bazeyo holds office in acting capacity.

He explained that Council can only proceed constituting the search committee for DVC F&A after getting guidance of the SG, something some resented as misleading because the relevant Universities & Other Tertiary Institutions Act is elaborate enough on how the search committee is constituted and how the DVC is eventually recruited.

Some Senators also wondered how Council, which on February 19th directed management and Senate to constitute the search committee, can at the same time be looking at the SG for guidance. Consequently, they perceived all this as deliberate delay so that time runs out without the University having a substantive DVC F&A in office.

This enables the status quo, of Nawangwe continuing to be deputized by Bazeyo, to carry on for the remaining years. The court directive was issued after Prof Anthony Mugisha adduced evidence to the satisfaction of Court that the Search Committee, headed by Prof JWT Mugisha, undermarked him enabling Bazeyo to emerge the best candidate for the DVC F&A job which had only two competitors.

Court unequivocally directed that the DVC F&A job be readvertised but instead Prof Anthony Mugisha has been victimized to the extent that his ticks project, that he concieved in close consultation with the President, has continued to be starved of funds, something he perceives as an effort to revenge on him for exercising his right by petitioning Court as an aggrieved contender for the DVC job.

In the same Senate meeting, Nawangwe informed Senators that Dr. Eria Hisali had been appointed as Principal CoBAMS deputized by Dr. Bruno Yawe, Dr. Josephine Ahikire as Principal CHUSS and Dr. Isaac Kaija as Deputy Principal College of Health Sciences. That the CHS Principal appointment stalled after a whistle blower petitioned the IGG accusing front-runner Prof Moses Joloba of all manner of nasty things. Gratefully, the IGG cleared Joloba and the matter is now before Council awaiting consideration.

As for the Law School, whose Principal appointment too stalled because of lack of clarity as to it’s status, Nawangwe reported that management had paid the statutory fees and are now waiting for NCHE teams to inspect and accordingly decide what should happen. He also spoke about the ongoing staff appraisals exercise insisting it must end before end of this very month of March.

The VC also spoke about the Makerere University Printer Company confirming 12 of it’s staff had been allowed to go following expiry of their contracts.

It was reported that Procurement Officer Deo Ibanda, whose posting has widely been disputed as anomalous on grounds of inadequate qualifications and experience, had been appointed to head the printery unit which Mulengera News investigations show has lost business worth Shs100m since the staff departures resulted into a halt in it’s business operations. We shall, in our subsequent reporting, disclose more regarding why many have considered Ibanda unfit to head the printery business. There is alot that has been leaked regarding his conduct at the University PDU where he has been working.

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