Kampala. The controversial Makerere University research fellow, Dr Stella Nyanzi is yet to receive a copy of a letter of her impending suspension from the university for her Facebook posts insulting the First Lady and Education minister, Ms Janet Kataha Museveni.
“I am watching the space. I have not received any letter from the University and so I am not at liberty to comment on the letter that is circulating within the public domain,” she told Daily Monitor in a telephone interview yesterday.
“The said letter is neither addressed to me nor belongings to me so I am waiting to receive it just like any other person is doing,”
The chairman of the Appointments Board of Makerere University, Mr Bruce Baraba Kabasa, at the weekend wrote to the University Vice Chancellor, Prof John Ddumba- Ssentamu, directing him to suspend Dr Nyanzi with immediate effect for insulting Ms Museveni.
The letter states that in total disregard of earlier warnings, Dr Nyanzi has continued to use social media to violate Section 5.7.7 of the university Human Resources Manual 2009.
“It’s particularly regrettable that Dr Nyanzi has made it a habit to insult, dehumanise and castigate the line Minister of Education and Sports under whose docket Makerere University’s supervision falls,” Mr Baraba said.
When asked whether the letter had been delivered to Dr Nyanzi, Prof Ssentamu told Daily Monitor that the suspension letter is ready.
Asked under what law he was moving to fire Dr Nyanzi, Prof Ddumba- Ssentamu responded that he only complied with the board’s directive and wrote the said letter which is now before the director of Human Resources, who will decide the next course of action.
“If they are instructing me, do I have any option? It is a directive. Whatever the case, the letter has already been written and she should be getting it from the Human Resource,” Prof Ddumba said.
Meanwhile, the Opposition Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) has attacked the Makerere University Appointments Board for suspending Dr Nyanzi without giving her a fair hearing.
In a press briefing at their offices in Najjanakumbi yesterday, Mr Paul Mwiru, the FDC deputy spokesperson, said although Dr Nyanzi uses vulgar language in her posts, the issues she raise are pertinent and affect Ugandans.
“Whereas Dr Nyanzi may have used vulgar language in her communication, we can eradicate what is vulgar and remain with the issues she has been raising. What she raises are issues which are of concern to Ugandans so as the university dismisses her, they should also inform us what solutions they have provided for the issues she raises,” Mr Mwiru said.
He said that the board should have instead appointed a committee to investigate her conduct, summon her to explain herself and there after, decide the appropriate form of punishment.