PARLIAMENT | All major leadership positions at Makerere University are held by men and one woman of substance is not happy about this at all.
Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga would love to see a different face of the university, Uganda’s premier institution of higher learning–a face with women holding key positions of leadership, too.
To begin with, Kadaga has ordered the Education Committee of Parliament to investigate Makerere University over what she termed as “discrimination in appointment” of men to top leadership positions in the university’s administration.
“There are 27 leadership positions and all of them from the Vice Chancellor to principals of the colleges, all the 27 are occupied by the men. Can this be a fair society? It isn’t. This is in contradiction to our Constitution,” Kadaga said during a plenary Tuesday, suggesting that skilled women are being sidelined deliberately at the institution.
“This is a matter which I want the Committee of Education to take an interest in so we progressively see better participation and equity,” she explained.
The Speaker’s disappointment with Makerere University, apparently, stems from recent media reports that Makerere University had appointed two men to positions of deputy vice chancellors.
Makerere University Chancellor, Prof Ezra Suruma, last week announced the appointment of Dr Umar Kakumba (Deputy Vice Chancellor Academic Affairs) and Prof William Bazeyo (Finance and Administration) after recommendations by the University Senate of the duo having attained the highest votes and therefore best placed to take over the leadership.
It is not yet clear if someone reached out to the Speaker’s Chambers petitioning for intervention into the alleged gender imbalance in Makerere University leadership or if her reaction was triggered off by the media reports she quoted.
Parliament director of communication Chris Obore was not readily available for a comment on the matter, but Kadaga, the official Number Three in leadership hierarchy of the country and the most powerful woman in the land, has taken serious issues with Makerere.
“The entire leadership of Makerere is skewed. Many female candidates applied and the results showed that men have taken up all positions and this is really perpetrating an imbalance,” she said.
Kadaga did not name the women she claims applied for top positions but were overlooked.
Ironically, Makerere University has a fully fledged gender mainstreaming directorate mandated to negotiate for gender justice at the higher institution of learning.