MUASA Chairperson Accuses University of Sidelining him in Staff Promotions

Makerere University Academic Staff Association (MUASA) Chairman, Dr. Robert Kakuru, has accused the appointments board of sidelining him while promoting over 100 staff members.

A circular dated July 24, 2023, signed by the Acting Director of Human Resources, Lawrence Sanyu, announced the promotion of at least 158 staff members across various departments.

These promotions included advancements from assistant lecturer to lecturer, lecturer to senior lecturer, Associate Professor to Professor, and senior Librarian to Associate Library Professor, among other positions. This decision came shortly after the University Joint Staff Associations, including MUASA, threatened to strike over delayed promotions at the campus.

In a letter addressed to the University Council on July 17, 2023, the joint staff leaders expressed their concerns about the lack of promotion.

“The lack of promotion has caused demotivation, and quiet quitting of staff, while others have resigned, and joined other public universities where they are immediately promoted,” reads part of the letter.

While many staff members celebrated their promotions, Dr. Kakuru found himself raising concerns as he was not promoted despite applying for the position of lecturer, a post he believed he qualified for after obtaining a Ph.D.

“I wish to congratulate all the MUASA Members that have been promoted. We are truly happy for you. We kindly request you use these positions to serve humanity so that we can leave behind a better Makerere University. On the same note, we want to remind the University Council/AB to promote the remaining categories of staff,” reads part of the message Kakuru sent to the promoted staff.

Dr. Kakuru believes he was targeted by the University due to his role in leading an industrial action in 2021.

“I wish to categorically state that during the 2021 Industrial Action, the University Management decided to selectively persecute a section of staff and MUASA leaders. Empowered by the resolution of MUASA EGA we went to court to protect all staff,” Kakuru said.

Dr. Kakuru argues that the University no longer respects court decisions, leaving his case and that of Dr. Anthony Tibaingana unresolved.

“We got a court injunction, but the University no longer respects court decisions, given the lurking rule by law in the University. The matter before the court matter is yet to be concluded. Management and AB have been using this case as a scapegoat to deny promotion to staff such as Dr. Anthony Tibaingana and l, and we took the university to court,” he added.

It’s worth noting that Dr. Kakuru has been vocal in criticizing various issues within the University, such as the suspension of the University Staff Appeals Tribunal and delayed salaries.

When approached for comment, Makerere University Secretary Yusuf Kiranda, who is on leave, referred the reporter to the Acting Director of Human Resources, Lawrence, who did not respond to inquiries.

In an earlier interview, Kiranda explained that the University is facing financial constraints in promoting several lecturers since each promotion entails higher pay. The University is currently grappling with limited funds, making it challenging to fulfill all promotion demands.

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