Student leaders at Makerere University Business School (MUBS) are advocating for the prompt appointment of a new Principal, citing administrative challenges arising from the absence of a substantive leader.
In June, the MUBS Council appointed Prof. Moses Muhwezi as the acting Principal and initiated the search for a successor to Prof. Wasswa Balunywa, who had led the institution for 26 years before his term ended on May 31.
According to the university council, Prof. Muhwezi is tasked with acting as the School Principal until a permanent appointment is made, following the appropriate legal procedures.
However, student leaders assert that Prof. Muhwezi’s acting role limits his ability to effectively address their pressing concerns.
Mable Beinomugisha, the Minister for Information and Public Relations, pointed out the division of responsibilities in the past, with the deputy principal’s office handling academics and the principal’s office addressing student-related matters. Currently, with an acting principal, decision-making on executive matters becomes challenging.
Christopher Wasswa, the Guild President of MUBS, revealed that they have reached out to the university’s management through written correspondence to address critical issues, but their appeals have gone unanswered.
Mary Jacqueline Nakyeyune, the Vice Guild President, expressed apprehension about the potential impact of not having a substantive principal on the graduation prospects of up to 500 students. She emphasized the importance of the principal issuing an executive order for a recess, a crucial period for students to resolve issues such as missing marks and outstanding fee payments.
Nakyeyune stated, “Students fear that without a substantive principal, their academic progress is in jeopardy. The situation has raised concerns about issues like medical registration and the accuracy of students’ payment records.”
David Williams Magezi noted that currently, they have no effective channel to voice their concerns due to the limited authority of the current administration in addressing certain grievances.
An anonymous member of the academic staff association confirmed that the process of finding a replacement for Prof. Balunywa is underway, and an announcement regarding the new principal is expected in the near future.