By Okoodi Abooki
Business is paralyzed at Mbarara University of Science and Technology after members of staff laid down their tools to strike.
The academic and non-teaching staff at MUST yesterday laid down their tools due to failure of the University Council to address their concerns raised a month back.
The staff on 4th April wrote to the council accusing Vice Chancellor Prof. Celestine Obua of financial mismanagement, staff harassment, intimidation, misconduct, suffocating operations of the grants office and disregarding policy on staff training and development.
Prof Obua is also being accused of flouting university transport policy, procurement and disposal of guidelines, and influence peddling among others.
The staff on Thursday held an emergency meeting at Main Lecture Theatre and resolved to go on striking saying that they have been with many issues and challenges which they forwarded to council that they have refused to act on accordingly.
Julius Taremwa, the general secretary Mbarara University of Science and Technology Academic Staff Association said that they have raised five recommendations of which one was tasking university council to immediately retire the current vice chancellor in public interest and that a search committee is empowered to start the process of searching the next Vice Chancellor with immediate effect.
They also want the university secretary to step aside as council carries out a forensic audit and that an extra ordinary joint meeting of university council members, senate, staff and student representatives be urgently convened to seek harmony, restore sanity and credibility of the institution.
They however said that their decision shouldnt affect other members of staff attached to Mbarara regional referral hospital after doctors expressed concern about the patients who contribute a lot to the training of medicine and pharmacy students.
When www.mknewslink.com agency visited the university, the gate was found closed, most offices locked and students not in their lecture rooms.
The university guild president Katongole Michael faulted the office of the speaker of parliament for not allowing the students to meet the education committee of parliament when they petitioned her two months back to present the stalemate at the university in anticipation of preventing such a scenario students are facing now.
Professor Celestine Obua the Vice Chancellor acknowledged receipt of notice for the strike and said that as management they have taken some measures to allow peaceful stay of students in the university to do revision despite the strike by members of staff.
He said a peaceful resolution over the stalemate between the staff and management will soon be reached at through a dialogue order to restore calmness at the university.
Prof. Obua who denied harassing and intimidating workers said most of the issues raised are not resulting from poor management but from government due to lack of money to address some of those challenges and asked the aggrieved workers to be patient as the university council carries out investigations into the matter.
www.mknewslink.com a greater western Uganda news website