After serving as deputy principal at Makerere University Business School for five years, Dr Samuel Sejjaaka has said he will not be reapplying for the job when his contract expires on July 28.
In an e-mail to all Mubs staff, which The Observer has seen, Sejjaaka says he has run his race and will now revert to his old academic station and continue serving Mubs.
“So, let the rumours about who gives out this post or not stop. The proper thing is for the Education Service Commission to advertise the job and you ladies and gentlemen apply for it,” partly reads his email.
This comes amid reports that Sejjaaka and Waswa Balunywa, the Mubs principal, are not on talking terms. But in his email, Sejjaaka goes to great length to deny having an axe to grind with Balunywa, whom he calls his mentor. The two have apparently worked together since the early 1980s.
“Mr Waswa Balunywa gave me my first employment opportunity at Weekly Topic way back in 1983. He encouraged me to join Makerere University and I have worked with him since,” Sejjaaka writes.
The Observer reported early this year that Sejjaaka had in 2012, while acting as principal in Balunywa’s absence, promoted some Mubs staff, something that didn’t go down well with his boss. Upon his return from abroad, Balunywa reversed the promotions, arguing that they had been made without sufficient consultation.
This set the two on a collision course that even attracted the attention of the governing council. The feud reportedly escalated after Balunywa was controversially reappointed principal in June last year. A committee of three, to investigate the working relationship between the two, was set up by the school council in October 2013.
This committee found that Balunywa had arrogated himself more powers, which made Sejjaaka feel inferior and disrespected. It recommended mediation between the two and tasked the institution to extend gratuities and buy a car for the deputy principal or compensate him accordingly.
“I agreed with the findings of the committee and its proposed recommendations. If these recommendations were not implemented, that has nothing to do with me. Even if we have workplace misunderstandings, I will not fight or denigrate Mr Balunywa,” Sejjaaka writes in the email.
Sejjaaka further denies reports that he is behind the critics questioning Balunywa’s academic qualifications.
“I do not practise intellectual cowardice and I publicly advised the principal to clarify the issues surrounding his qualifications,” he says.
However, Sejjaaka claims to have seen copies of Balunywa’s academic papers, which he asks the responsible authorities to verify – if they have not yet. Balunywa is currently facing criminal and civil prosecution related to his academic qualifications and thus suitability to lead Mubs, and is in fact expected in court today.
Peter Odoki, the Mubs publicist, confirmed receipt of Sejjaaka’s email to all staff.
“Dr Sejjaaka was a professor of economics before becoming deputy principal. He could not have led such a big institution without qualifications. We are grateful to him,” Odoki said on Saturday.