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MAK Crisis: Deputy Vice Chancellor Prof William Bazeyo Resigns

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“I wish to thank you all for the support you rendered to me as I served and made a contribution to our great university. For those that I could have offended while I executed my duties. I sincerely apologize. I would like to believe that together we can make a bigger Contribution so that we leave no room to be judged by History,” reads a message posted by Prof. Bazeyo on the University Senator’s forum.
Professor William Bazeyo
Professor William Bazeyo, the acting Makerere University Deputy Vice-Chancellor in Charge of Finance and Administration has finally thrown in towel amidst queries of his academic credentials. Information from Makerere University shows that Professor Bazeyo tendered his resignation to the administration citing ‘personal and family’ grounds.  

His similarly withdrew his candidature from the ongoing search for the substantive Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Finance and Administration).  “I wish to thank you all for the support you rendered to me as I served and made a contribution to our great university. For those that I could have offended while I executed my duties. I sincerely apologize. I would like to believe that together we can make a bigger Contribution so that we leave no room to be judged by History,” reads a message posted by Prof. Bazeyo on the University Senator’s forum.       

The professor of occupational medicine and former Dean of the School of Public Health has been embroiled in a dispute with a section of alumni questioning the credibility of his qualifications for the office, he has held for the last four years.  Several petitions were presented to the search committee, Inspectorate of Government and courts of law by Sam Ninsiima and Amos Welikhe, both alumni challenging Bazeyo’s candidature for the post of Deputy Vice-Chancellor for alleged lack of the required minimum academic requirements.       

The petitioners argued that whereas eligible candidates for the position were required to possess a PhD from a recognized institution, Bazeyo obtained his PhD from the Hawaii-based Atlantic International University, which isn’t recognized by the United State Department of Education.  The National Council for Higher Education (NHCE) threw its weight behind the applicants, saying Atlantic International University wasn’t recognized by the council.        

"The purpose of this letter is to inform you that Atlantic International University is not accredited by the US department of education. Awards of Atlantic International University are therefore not recognized by the National Council for Higher Education," Dr Puis Achanga, the acting Director of Quality Assurance and Accreditation at NCHE wrote in his July 29, 2020 response to the petitioners           



The office of deputy vice-chancellor finance and administration fell vacant in 2017 when Professor Barnabas Nawangwe, who occupied it, assumed the office of Vice-Chancellor.  Prof Bazeyo replaced him in an acting capacity before the search for a new officer bearer was initiated. He later emerged the best candidate in the search process that was held in 2019. However, the High Court quashed the results of the search process following a petition by some candidates, saying the exercise was ‘unfair and unlawful’. 

Before a new committee was instituted to conduct a fresh search, Bazeyo was reappointed in acting capacity despite an uproar from his competitors. The withdrawal of Bazeyo from the fresh search process leaves two candidates including Prof. Anthony Mugisha and Associate Professor Allan Mulengani Katwalo. Bazeyo isn’t the first senior official to resign from Uganda’s prestigious university.   Three other officials have thrown in the towel within a space of fewer than two years.

The others are the former University bursar, Augustine Tamale, Legal Director, Henry Mwebe and Human Resources Director Andrew Abunyang.  The resignation of top administrators raises a lot of concerns given their past exchanges with several staff associations on a series of issues within the university.  

Dr Deus Kamunyu Muhwezi, the Chairperson of Makerere University Academic Staff Association, says it is always right for office bearers to take bold decisions to leave the office and offer a chance to other people with different views to move the institution forward.  

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