Kyambogo University was today plunged back into a crisis, after staff went on strike, protesting the return of embattled Vice Chancellor Isaiah Ndiege.
The workers had already been angered by a High court ruling last week, that fired Prof Ndiege should stay in office.
Responding to Justice Wilson Masalu Musene’s ruling of October 21, the staff had met on Monday and resolved not to work with Ndiege.
In November 2012, the Kyambogo University Academic Staff Association (KYUASA) resolved to strike if Ndiege returned. He had been accused, since April 2012, of mismanaging the institution and undermining staff.
KYUASA Spokesperson Jackson Betihamah had told The Observer that there would be no reversal of their earlier decision.
“If he manages [the university on his own], well, we wish him the best. If he does not, let him respect the will of the majority,” Betihamah said on Monday.
The KYUASA chairman, Dr Charles Twesigye, added: “Parents and students are anxiously awaiting a peaceful end to the year.
As staff, we cannot oppose what court has decreed but we think Kyambogo University deserves better services for a conducive learning and research environment.”
Ndiege has long argued that he is the best man for the job. But as he appeared on campus today morning, the staff walked out. Ndiege, who was vice chancellor for four years from January 2009, was ejected last year by the University Council on the watch of Chancellor, Dr Eric Adriko.
Ndiege was replaced by his then deputy, Prof Dr John Opuda-Asibo. With the retirement of Prof Asibo, the University Council appointed Prof Fabian Nabugoomu as acting vice chancellor.
On November 8, 2012, Ndiege challenged his sacking in the High court, arguing that the University Council’s decision was unfair since the probe committee into the alleged university mismanagement had cleared him.
Students Guild President John Mugabi this week has called for calm, and urged all sides to reconcile “for the students’ sake”.
Students are currently preparing for the end of semester exams this week, while those who completed their studies in the 2012/13 academic year are scheduled to graduate on December 19 and 20.
Earlier, University Spokesperson Lawrence Madete said the administration was ready to receive Ndiege back.
“It is only fair in the interest of natural justice that the aggrieved comply with what the court has ruled... It is our considered view that Prof Ndiege returns on receipt of this communication and we expect him to abide by the court ruling.”
Ndiege’s term of office as vice chancellor formally ends on January 12, 2014.
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