Makerere University Business School’s Council Chair Prof Venansiius Baryamureeba has been sent on a three months forced leave to allow for investigations into his chairmanship of the country’s leading business school’s council..
A reportedly heated Tuesday council meeting attended by all the 24 council members in the boardroom resolved, after over nine hours of deliberations, to have Baryamureeba out of office to specifically investigate his stormy working relationship with the school principal, Prof Wasswa Balunywa.
The meeting was chaired by Rev Sam Luboga and attended by among others the Defence and Veterans Affairs minister Bright Rwamirama, Kitgum woman MP, Beatrice Anywar and Guild President Julius Ntende.
In the meeting, majority members led by Anywar are reported to have squeezed Baryamureeba for fighting Balunywa, which fight, they said would have a big effect on the school.
According to sources who attended the the meeting, but spoke on condition of anonymity because they are not the official council spokesperson, Prof Baryamureeba was at the beginning of the meeting arrogant but toned down when he realized he was all alone in his corner. He, the source said, then apologized to them and pledged to work well with Balunywa but the already bitter members unanimously said he must step aside.
Asked to say something, Balunywa told the meeting that he was disgusted by Baryamureeba’s way of handling business.
It is believed that Prof Baryamureeba remained holed up in the Main Building for the better part of the day, probably for fear of riotous students who had threatened to lynch him if did not to step down.
Early in the day, a loose group of students had taken to the School’s footpaths holding “enough is enough with Baraymureeba” placards. The students accuse him of witch-hunting the principal, and undermining progressive ideas regarding the school’s development.
As if to send a much clearer message to the good ol’ prof, the students charged towards him as he appeared at the entrance to the Main Building. He was whisked away by security.
Guild President Ntende told reporters that 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,” 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 his wife and Education Minister Janet Museveni to re-appointment Prof Balunywa whom he said has kept true to NRM’s revolution ideals.
In the letter to Mrs Museveni, President Museveni 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 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, Ntende (guild president) and the Rev Luboga.