KAMPALA. Makerere University Business School council has asked its chairman, Prof Venansius Baryamureeba, to step aside for three months to allow for investigations into his moody working relationship with Prof Wasswa Balunywa, the school principal.
A meeting held in the school boardroom yesterday and attended by all 24 council members, who included Defence and Veterans Affairs minister Bright Rwamirama, and Guild President Julius Ntende, was chaired by the Rev Sam Luboga.
Prof Balunywa said the meeting unanimously agreed to have Prof Baryamureeba step aside. But Prof Baryamureeba in brief comment on the issue last evening said: “[The Rev] Luboga is the chairperson appointments board Mubs; he is the one who chaired the meeting and will brief you.”
But a source who participated in the meeting but preferred not to be named in order to speak freely said both professors went on the offensive against each other until the members prevailed upon Prof Baryamureeba to step aside.
However, Prof Baryamureeba remained holed up in the Main Building for the better part of the day for fear of riotous students who had threatened to lynch him if did not to step down. The students accused him of witch-hunting the principal, and undermining progressive ideas regarding the school’s development.
True to their threats, the students charged towards Prof Baryamureeba when he appeared at the entrance to the Main Building.
He was then whisked away under heavy security guard.
Mr Ntende said the students had a right to put their opinion across, and that as their representative, he had been keen to see a solution arrived at by the council.
“I sat in the meeting and made sure that the voices of the students are heard. The council has responded and we hope that positive change will soon come to this university,” Mr Ntende said.
Last month, Prof Baryamureeba wrote to the Education and Sports ministry requesting for the reappointment of Prof Balunywa as principal of Mubs, but he changed his mind soon after, writing another letter retracting his approval in preference to a new principal. Prof Balunywa’s contract was then due to expire on May 27.
In response, Prof Balunywa then issued a blistering dossier about poor management practices at the school, blaming the woes on Prof Baryamureeba.
He also accused Prof Baryamureeba of nursing ambitions of taking over the leadership of the business school; touted as one of the finest in Africa.
The bitter wrangle only ended when President Museveni wrote to Ms Janet Museveni as minister of Education and Sports to effect the re-appointment Prof Balunywa.
Mr Museveni in his letter said: “I am writing to direct you to re-appoint Professor Wasswa Balunywa as the Principal Makerere University Business School (Mubs) for another term upon the expiry of this one.”
To effect the investigations following, a five-member committee chaired by the Rev Luboga was given three months within which to look into the roots of the fights between of the school’s two top administrators. The committee has Dr Isaac Ngobya, Dr Shifra Lukwago, Mr Ntende (guild president) and the Rev Luboga.