Tayebwa To Step Down As Member of Makerere University Council

The Deputy Speaker of Parliament Thomas Tayebwa is to step down from the Makerere University Council; the highest governing body of the institution.

The University is in the process of getting new Council members with constituent bodies asked to elect or nominate their representatives. Speaking to URN, Yusuf Kiranda, the University Secretary said that Tayebwa who earlier this year, was elected as the Deputy Speaker of Parliament, indicated that he will not be seeking to renew his tenure as a council member when his term expires in December.  “Who told you that Hon. Tayebwa is going to remain a Council member? The Council term is coming to an end in barely one month. In fact, if you want to know, he has already informed the Council that he is leaving because his current assignment does not allow him to be a Council member.

He added, “On the 12th of November, we had a farewell for him where he left the Council. So, Hon Tayebwa is leaving the Council. The council is extremely delighted about his diligent service to Makerere, and we hope that in his next assignment, he will continue to be an ambassador of this University,” Kiranda said.

Tayebwa who in 2021 had been appointed as the Government’s Chief Whip was elected the Deputy Speaker of Parliament following the elevation of Anita Annet Among as speaker after the death of the then Speaker Jacob Oulanyah.

Tayebwa has been on the Makerere University Council since 2010 when he was appointed by the University Council.  Tayebwa’s intension to step down comes just months after Kiryowa Kiwanuka stepped down following his appointment as the Attorney General. Kiwanuka, who was the head of the Appointments Board, unlike Tayebwa, was serving his first term as a Council member.  

Meanwhile, other bodies that are supposed to have representatives on the University Council have kicked off the process of electing their members. According to Kiranda, all bodies are supposed to have submitted who their representatives are going to be before the end of the month. “If you look at the law, [the University and other Tertiary Institutions Act], all constituencies appoint their own members”, Kiranda said.

He added, “As a secretary, I can only write to them to tell them that bring your members. I have written to everyone and provided the deadline and I’m hoping that every constituency will comply with the deadline. So far, we have given the deadline for elections which is the end of this month. For other members who are not elected, I have written to all those constituencies as I have written to constituencies who elect,” Kiranda said. 

Among those institutions that elect representatives, the Makerere University Academic Staff Association-Muasa is set to elect its representatives to Council this Thursday.

According to Dr. Milton Wabyona, the spokesperson of Muasa, Council representation is open to all members as long as they are full-time academic staff. These include Assistant Lecturers, Lecturers, Senior Lecturers, and professors. Two members; one male and one female are set to be elected.   “I may not be able to ascertain a clear number of the electorate but the general membership we are about 1,400, generally in the books but that number can fluctuate up and down. We start voting at exactly 9 am at all the eleven colleges of Makerere University. We also have what we call proxy voting for those members that are not on campus, like those on study leave who will be able to send in proxy votes starting tomorrow night,” Wabyona said.

Among those contesting includes Dr. Muhammad Kiggundu Musoke, Deus Kamunyu Muhwezi, both former chairmen of Muasa, and Edward Nector Mwavu who are seeking to replace Prof. Tumps Ireeta who is not seeking re-election as male Muasa representative.

The female representative, Dianah Ahumuza Ateenyi, an assistant lecturer at the School of Law is challenging the incumbent Dr. Hellen Nkabala.

According to Section 38 of the University and other tertiary Institutions Act, all public universities are supposed to have a University Council which consists of the Chairperson; the Vice-Chairperson, the Vice-Chancellor, the Deputy Vice-Chancellors; a representative of a sector relevant to the University depending on its objectives and mission appointed by the relevant body in that sector, one member of the District Council in whose jurisdiction the university is situated and a member of the Convocation.

The others are two members of the University Senate, two members of the Academic Staff, a senior member of Administrative Staff, a member of the National Union of Education Institutions; Support Staff, two students, three members appointed by the Minister from the public, three members appointed by the University Council from the public, a representative of the Ministry responsible for finance; a representative of the Ministry responsible for higher education, two representatives of the constituent colleges, schools, and institutes elected by the Chairpersons of the governing councils from among themselves and two representatives of persons with disabilities.

The current Makerere University Council led by Lorna Magara and deputized Dan Kidega assumed office in 2018. 

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