Clash at Makerere: Staff Associations Resist Biometric Access System Implementation

Makerere University Main Gate
Makerere University Main Gate
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Tension is escalating at Makerere University as staff associations, including MUASA, MASA, and NUEI, resist the implementation of the Biometric Access System, defying directives from Vice-Chancellor Professor Barnabas Nawangwe. The objections surfaced in response to Nawangwe’s October 2023 memo, expressing concerns about the lack of adequate consultation and stakeholder engagement before initiating the biometric system, which staff argue could undermine the university’s mission.

MUASA had earlier rejected the adoption of the Biometric Attendance Management System, citing more effective methods for monitoring academic staff performance. One major grievance is the perceived lack of consultation, raising concerns about potential disruptions to university operations.

Nawangwe, in response to staff grievances, highlighted symptoms of indiscipline, emphasizing instances of staff not adhering to official schedules and engaging in practices that compromise student education. He argued that biometric access systems are a global norm and are essential to addressing these issues.

Despite Nawangwe’s warning that the Biometric Access System would proceed as planned, staff associations remained defiant. In a joint letter, they emphasized that universities globally use electronic access systems, allowing staff flexibility in accessing offices and working hours. They questioned the practicality of the proposed system, hindering their ability to engage in research both within and outside the office.

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