Makerere ponders Dr Stella Nyanzi return

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Makerere University appointments board is discussing the possible return of Dr Stella Nyanzi, a researcher who was suspended from Makerere University institute of social research (MISR) last year.

Nyanzi’s suspension was triggered by her nude protest in which she contested a decision by the institute's director Prof Mahmood Mamdani to lock her out of office.

The disagreement between the two stemmed from Nyanzi's refusal to teach PhD students and participating in the institute's research projects. After her suspension, the university appointment's board instituted a committee chaired by Hajjati Sharifah Buzeki, the assistant commissioner, human resource management at the ministry of public service to probe into the matter.

The committee noted in its report that Nyanzi's refusal to take up the teaching role assigned to her by the director MISR was in breach of the terms of her appointment, which "she accepted in writing and therefore an act of insubordination."

The committee recommended that Dr Nyanzi be subjected to disciplinary action in line with section 5.8 of the Makerere University human resource manual which categorizes the action and omission she committed and gross misconduct.

However, the recommendations have never been implemented and Dr Nyanzi's suspension has never been lifted.  The university has also maintained a half salary payment to Dr Nyanzi to-date as part of the suspension.

Her possible return was key among issues discussed during a meeting of the appointments board on Friday. A board member told URN on condition of anonymity because he is not allowed to speak to media that the board will meet again on Monday to make a final decision and set terms and conditions for Dr Nyanzi's return.

But the university Vice Chancellor Prof John Ddumba-Ssentamu who attended the Friday meeting feigned ignorance at the subject.

"This not yet official information, I don't have the minutes of the meeting and I want to assure you that whoever gave you the information is doing a disservice to the university. That's cheap politics," Prof Ddumba said.

The university human resource manager Mary Tizikara also declined to discuss the matter and asked our reporter to wait for official communication from the university.

However, Nyanzi said, in response to questions about her possible return to Makerere and the committee findings that she will never participate in teaching under the PhD program at MISR.

"I will never teach on any of Mamdani's things. I came to Makerere to do research not to teach." adding that "All the issues of mismanagement I raised are getting worse by the day. MISR's death is just a matter of time."

Reporting by Uganda Radio Network (URN)