The Uganda Law Society has blasted Makerere University Vice Chancellor Prof.Barnabas Nawangwe for recommending that the Law School at the university should be closed.
Early this week, Prof.Nawangwe in a report the University Council, said the school of law has continued to be defiant by refusing to resume lectures recommending for its closure.
However, in a statement on Thursday afternoon, the Uganda Law Society president Simon Peter Kinobe has said it wrong for the university leadership to close the Law School which he said has contributed the development of the country by training a number of lawyers.
“In addition to training the largest number of lawyers in Uganda, the School of Law has trained and influenced the legal profession in Africa. Some of the scholars at this great institution have world-wide recognition in their chosen fields of specialty,”Kinobe said in his statement.
“The School of Law has made an immeasurable contribution to fostering the rule of in Uganda. It would be both illegal and high-handed to shut it down because members exercised their rights in law and offered guidance in a time of crisis.”
In his report to the University Council, Prof.Nawangwe said despite other schools resuming with lectures, the School of Law has not heeded to the call, adding that they are making the university ungovernable for him.
He recommended that they should be asked to handover the university property for failure to return to work.
However in response, the Uganda Law Society president said members of staff at Makerere have a right to do whatever they feel good without being forced including not returning to class.
“Members of staff at Makerere enjoy various rights to engage in industrial action under both the Constitution of the Republic of Uganda and the labor laws of this country,”Kinobe said.
“In addition, to conferring the above rights, the Constitution of the Republic of Uganda enjoins each member of staff, as a citizen of Uganda, to both promote democracy and the rule of law; and to engage in gainful employment for the good of that citizen, the family and the common good.”
Kinobe also applauded members of the Law School for stepping up to offer guidance to the university administration in regards legal issues surrounding the impasse at Makerere University.
He however asked that the impasse be resolved because it has occasioned loss to students who are not having lectures.
“We will continue to monitor the situation and remain available to offer any support to the University should the same be required. Highlighting the right of the students to timely education, we require that the impasse be resolved immediately to avoid continuous loss to the affected University students and the financially strained parents that pay tuition.”
The impasse was caused by the suspension of Makerere University staff leaders by the university council led by Prof.Nawangwe prompting the staff members to lay down tools until the suspensions of their leaders are lifted, a thing that has not happened up to now.