Crime & Investigation

Stella Nyanzi to Face Disciplinary Action for Strip Protest, Insubordination

Dr Stella Nyanzi

A committee set up by Makerere University administration has recommended “disciplinary action” against embattled lecturer, capsule Dr Stella Nyanzi for stripping naked at the education facility and refusing to teach as instructed by the head of her department, cheapest Prof Mahmood Mamdani.

The latest development is good news for the conservatives who perceived Nyanzi’s actions as shocking and immoral.

Nyanzi had submitted that she was not entitled to teach at Makerere Institute of Social Research, buy information pills saying such terms were not laid down in her contract with the campus.

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But according to the report of the committee investigating the disagreement between Nyanzi and Prof. Mamdani, the university manual 2009, section 2.2 (a) (x) provides that “all academic staff shall be staff engaged in teaching, research and outreach to the community in line with the mission of the University.”

The appointment letter issued to Nyanzi, the report released Monday reads in part, “Stipulated that she was responsible to the Director MISR and the Director was supposed to facilitate her in her work and to assign her duties. Accordingly, it is our interpretation that Prof Mamdani’s act, in his capacity as Director MISR, requiring Dr Nyanzi to teach on the PhD programme was proper and in line with Dr Nyanzi’s terms of employment.”

The committee stated that Nyanzi’s “refusal to take up the strategic role assigned to her by the Director MISR was in breach of the terms of her appointment which he accepted in writing and therefore an act of insubordination.”

Under Section 5.7 (3) of the Makerere University Human Resource Manual, the report showed, “willful insubordination or disobedience and refusal to take lawful orders constitute grounds for disciplinary action.”

The probe committee did not spare the university Human Resource manager for “inaction” and “limited interest” in the concerns and grievances raised by Dr Nyanzi and Prof Madani which led to the escalation of the disagreement, “creating factions at MISR, which led to the said nude demonstration.”

Officials described the Human resource manager’s inaction as a sign of “complacency “ and “negligence of duty.”

The committee set up on April 22 by the Appointments Board to investigate issues at MISR comprised Hajjati Sharifah Buzeki, Assistant Commissioner HRM Policies Ministry of Public Service (Chairperson); Prof Sarah Kiguli, Professor of Pediatrics and Child Health (Member); Dr. Sarah Ssali, Senior Lecturer School of Women and Gender Studies (Member) and Mr. Jude Mbabali, Uganda Law Society (Member).

Mr Godwin Okiror, Employment Officer MUK (Secretary) was also part of the committee.

It was was constituted with the terms of reference to; review the management of the PhD program at MISR; review how research at MISR is managed, review staff structure, establishment and reporting hierarchy, investigate the disagreement between Nyanzi and Mamdani; review the working conditions/environment at MISR and review the management of financial and other resources.

Nude protest

Regarding the widely publicized April 18 nude protest, the committee agreed with Mamdani that the act was “premeditated and planned with some MISR students sympathetic to her.

”By stripping and staging a premeditated nude demonstration, when she was still in possession of her office keys, Dr Nyanzi contravened section 5. 1 (a) of the Makerere University Human Resource Manual which provides that an employee shall act at all times in a reasonable and responsible manner.”

The report also condemned the act of smearing MISR premises with heavy red paint by Dr Nyanzi which pins her on misuse or damage to university property and constitutes grounds for disciplinary action.

Nyanzi, in the presence of two lawyers denied having any medical condition known to her expect dysmenorrheal which she experiences monthly and “did not require university held since it is common in many women.”

The committee recommended that “Nyanzi be subjected to disciplinary action in line with section 5.8 of the Makerere University Human Resource Manual which categorises the actions and omission she committed as gross misconduct, and section 5.9 (d) (i) which prescribes disciplinary action for gross misconduct.”

The university administration was also odered to enforce conflict management ad grievance handling mechanisms to avoid reoccurrence of the same.

For not providing professional ad timely advice, the Human Resource manager’s inaction “became prejudicial to the proper performance of duties, the University’s image and status internally and externally.”

ChimpReports understands the University Appointments Committee will sit next week to effect the recommendations of the probe committee.


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