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Embattled Makerere University Secretary Runs to Court to Challenge Suspension

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According to Barugahare, the forced leave is a disguised move to remove him from office and create a management committee outside the law to investigate nonexistent allegations orchestrated personally and concocted by Professor Nawangwe.
Mr. Charles Barugahare the University Secretary in an interview with URN journalist today at Makerere University
The embattled Makerere University Secretary, Charles Barugahare has run to the High Court Civil Division challenging his suspension and seeking orders blocking management from investigating him until his suit is determined. 

It comes three days after the Vice Chancellor, Professor Barnabas Nawangwa sent Barugahare on forced leave for three months to pave way for investigations into several disciplinary matters.

This stemmed from a series of reports implicating Barugahare for various scandals, which have hit Uganda’s oldest university.

“Management has instituted investigations into these matters to inform the next course of action. Should any acts of misconduct on your part be confirmed, the matters will be referred to the Appointments Board for appropriate handling,” Nawangwe wrote in his June 29th letter to Barugahare.

Some of the issues under investigations include gaps in the administration of the contract between Makerere University and KAPS Limited for parking and traffic management services, mismanagement of the 2015 Audit Software project and the infamous 2020 Makerere gown scandal, which saw many students graduate without gowns despite paying for them.     

Already, the Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Assets Authority has implicated Barugahare for flouting several procurement guidelines in the procurement of Team Uniform Ltd, a private firm to supply 13,500 gowns for the graduation that took place in January 2020. 

Management also faults Barugahare for his failure to guide the Appointments board before they made unjustified promotions and recruitments in 2018, which resulted in a wage deficit.  

However, Barugahare challenges the decision to send him on forced leave two days after completing his year-long study leave, saying that he didn’t play any role in the said scandals. 

According to Barugahare, the forced leave is a disguised move to remove him from office and create a management committee outside the law to investigate nonexistent allegations orchestrated personally and concocted by Professor Nawangwe.

“The balance of convenience lies in the favor of the applicant as he stands to lose his right of a fair trial, liberty, private property and the right to approach the court and against the respondents who can always wait to conclude its investigation,” reads a petition by Barugahare’s lawyers of Akampumuza and company advocates.

He also challenges the appointment of his deputy Yusuf Kiranda to take over his statutory duties at the university without cause or any hearing. He asked court to declare the process null and void. Kiranda was appointed accounting officer for the financial year 2020/2021 on June 8, 2020.              

Court has set July 13 to decide on Barugahare’s application for an interim injunction.

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