On December 22, 2018, one of Africa’s foremost Universities, Makerere University of Uganda sacked 45 lecturers for allegedly absconding from duty, failure to complete studies, financial fraud, and insubordination, among others.
The sack came as a surprise to not just the academic world but the continent in general, and while everyone knew that the conclusion on the issue was yet to come, no one expected that the news now making the rounds was what would follow.
News Agencies and concerned individuals were waiting for the results of the proposed investigation and/or appeals on the accusations. Therefore when the Vice Chancellor of the University, Professor Barnabas Nawangwe addressed the press conference, everyone thought that was what he was going to talk about, but no!
The Vice-Chancellor of the university used the opportunity to further deepen the wounds of the sacked lecturers when he asked them to return the funds they received for no work done.
Professor Barnabas Nawangwe said that the university’s management was going to officially contact the lecturers that were sacked but received payment for the month of December to refund the money they received back to the University.
"All those staffs we continued paying our money yet they had left the university should refund it. We cannot tolerate staff working elsewhere and earning from us without any service rendered," Prof Nawangwe was quoted as saying.
Speaking in the same vein, the university director legal, Mr. Henry Mwebe while speaking at the press conference said that the university will use any legal means available to recover the money spent on the sacked lecturers.
"We are aware that some staff who absconded from duty were being paid money for over four years so if the university wants to force those people to refund the money, we cannot go against it. It's a good move, "Mr. Kamunyu said.
However, Prof Nawangwe said the sacked lecturers were free to take the case to court or appeal to the staff tribunal.
What are your thoughts, should the lecturers refund the salaries or not?
Header Image: CAES - Makerere University