Uganda’s Education council boss accused of influence peddling
The executive director of the National Council of Higher Education (NCHE) Prof Abdul Kasozi has been accused of influence peddling, with claims that he handpicked two individuals to NCHE as representatives of the Universities Vice Chancellors Forum (UVCF).
The allegations are contained in an application for a judicial review filed at the High Court in Kampala by the academic registrar of St. Augustine International University, Patrick George Okae. It was filed on July 25 through Kanduho and Company Advocates.
Judicial review is conducted by the High Court in relation to proceedings plus decisions taken by subordinate courts, persons, and inferior tribunals or public bodies.
Both the council as well as Prof. Kasozi, plus the two purportedly handpicked individuals, Dr. John Ssenyonyi and Dr. Mohamed Mpezamuhigo, are listed as respondents.
Okae asserts that they were handpicked this year on April 26, in a meeting where he was manhandled for querying Kasozi’s actions. However, he does not indicate the purported meeting venue.
Okae wants court to restrain NCHE from transacting business while maintaining the duo as representatives of UVCF.
In his affidavit in support of the application, Okae contends that UVCF has never endorsed the duo. Ssenyonyi is the vice chancellor of Uganda Christian University Mukono, while Mpezamuhigo is from Kampala University.
“I am fortified in my belief that the third and fourth respondents (Ssenyonyi and Mpezamuhigo) are illegally holding their positions on the membership of the first respondent, and they are thus not entitled to act as such,”Okae contends.
Additionally, he states that there is a fully constituted forum of vice chancellors of public and private universities which is the sole body responsible for electing four members to NCHE.
Okae further states that the chairperson of UVCF Prof Badru Kateregga and his deputy, Dr. Wooding Nick, have since disowned the purported handpicked duo.
He notes that by virtue of being an academic registrar, he is a member of UVCF, and that he had ambitions of representing UVCF on NCHE.
Okae wants court to declare that Kasozi usurped the powers of UVCF, and that UVCF has never elected representatives to NCHE.
He is demanding general damages, plus costs of the application at an annual rate of 29% from the date of judgement until full payment. Both the costs and damages will be determined by the court.
The respondents are yet to file their defence. A hearing date is yet to be fixed.
By Andante Okanya, The New Vision
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