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Dr. Kakuru Retains Muasa Chair, Pledges to continue Championing Staff Welfare :: Uganda Radionetwork
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Dr. Kakuru Retains Muasa Chair, Pledges to continue Championing Staff Welfare

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Muasa's electoral Chairman, Dr. Anthony Tibaingana (PhD) announced Kakuru's re-election an unopposed and his entire executive in a circular dated February 13th,2023.
Dr-Robert-Kakuru-MUASA Chairman. courtesy picture
Dr. Robert Kakuru has vowed to continue pushing the Makerere University council and management to prioritize the welfare of academic staff after winning a new term at the helm of Makerere University Academic Staff Association- Muasa.  

Muasa's electoral Chairman, Dr. Anthony Tibaingana (PhD) announced Kakuru's re-election an unopposed and his entire executive in a circular dated February 13th,2023. 

"The Muasa Electoral Commission called for nominations of the Muasa Core executive committee 2024-2026 from the 12th to 13th of February as stipulated in the Muasa Electoral Commission guidelines. The commission received completed nomination forms from one candidate for each position. Thus, by the powers entrusted to me and the commissioners (article vi, b and), as the returning officer of the Muasa Electoral Commission, I, therefore, confirm the nomination of the following candidates," reads the circular.

These included Dr. Robert Kakuru as Chairman, Dr. Christine Myangu as Vice Chairperson, Assoc. Prof Jude Ssempebwa as General Secretary, Arthur Mugisha as Vice General secretary, Dr. Micheal Kizito as the treasurer, Dr. Oscar Mugula as the chairperson of the Welfare committee, Dr. Gereald Walulya as the Chairperson of the public and external relations Committee, and Dr. Maureen Mayanja as the Chairperson of the Academics and Research Committee.  

"The above-nominated persons being unopposed, are hereby declared winners of the Muasa Core Executive Committee 2024-2026 respectively," reads another part of Tibaingana’s circular.  

Dr. Kakuru assumed the chairmanship of Muasa in 2022 after defeating his rival, Dr. Tom Darlington Balojja. He succeeded Dr. Deus Kamunyu Muhwezi, who had also served two terms as Muasa chairman.  

Throughout his first tenure, Kakuru has occasionally clashed with University management, and council on several issues regarding the welfare of academic staff including the reinstatement of staff tribunal and promotion of academic staff, and has led a couple of industrial actions in protest of what he deemed unfair treatment at Uganda’s oldest academic institution.  

He believes that some of his confrontations with the University council prompted his colleagues to support his uncontested reelection. “I think I think it has been my position on the rejection of any form of injustice against members, my ability to engage, both the University council and management, but turn a strong arm on the issues of injustices,” Kakuru told URN in an interview.    

“Members were convinced that I have been able to speak out for a stable and strong association and the fact that we were transitioning from animosity to stability, from a state of lack of promotion for members where for about two years there was no promotion, but were able to pull off a backlog of 162 members promotion, and we were to engage on the issues of restoration of the staff tribunal, midterm access for the members,” he added

Kakuru further told URN that while there many other issue at hand to deal with, the most burning one is the issue of salary harmonization with counterparts in other public universities, which they have been advocating for.  

He argues that it is unfair for their staff with similar qualifications like those in other public universities to receive varying salaries, and hopes that this will be sorted in the next financial year as promised by the University management.  

“We shall continue to engage the University management and university for the welfare of our members. We are launching the next move for salary harmonization for the members which we expect to be done in this financial year and when it is done, we are strong enough to resist any form of injustice. Then we are pursuing the matter of equity in payment of staff gratuity where some contract staff and paid gratuity and others are not paid," he said  

It should however be recalled that; last year, Kakuru, was bitter with the appointments board for sidelining him while promoting more than 150 staff members. He said that the board deliberately rejected to promote him despite applying for the position of lecturer, a post he believed he qualified for after obtaining a Ph.D.   

He alleged that he was targeted by the University due to his role in leading an industrial action in 2021. “I wish to categorically state that during the 2021 Industrial Action, the University Management decided to selectively persecute a section of staff and MUASA leaders. Empowered by the resolution of MUASA EGA we went to court to protect all staff,” Kakuru said then.   

When this reporter asked him whether continuing to be at the helm of MUASA will not affect his individual progress, Kakuru said that he believes the matter will be sorted because he is trying to engage the management and council to make sure that this matter comes to an end.  

“Of course, I reject injustice and I detest the decision not to promote me, but I don’t think it will last forever. I am trying to engage the management and council to make sure that this matter comes to an end. And am sure it is not an isolated incident, there will be even many as long as you are a leader you expect this.”

“But it is a matter of time before this comes to an end, they can always use it as a scapegoat but they will also at one time find it in their hearts that they have to promote me and I will be promoted," he added

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