In any battle, there always a winner and a loser.
This is a fact for the standoff between Makerere University Vice Chancellor, Prof Ddumba-Ssentamu and the executive director of the university’s Institute of Social Research (MISR) Prof Mahmood Mamdani.
Ddumba is now a miserable loser after the largest institution’s appointing authority decided to extend Mamdani’s contract despite his attempts to block.
Mid last month, Ddumba wrote to the appointments board objecting to the shortlisting of Prof Mamdani in the then ongoing search for the new MISR boss.
This was after the university’s appointments board chaired by Bruce Balaba Kabaasa on June 2 agreed to shortlist Prof Mamdani for the post. Professor Ddumba subsequently wrote to Kabaasa saying he respects the decision but objects to it because Prof Mamdani is already 70 years.
In a June 21 letter to Balaba, Prof Ddumba states, “I am making this objection to ensure that university policies are observed and to avoid making precedent. Therefore, I urge the appointments board not to shortlist Prof Mamdani for the position of director at MISR.”
However, in a Friday ommunication, Balaba said they had zeroed on Mamdani because he was seen as the suitable candidate for the job given the fact that he had managed the institute well for some time now.
The relationship between Ddumba and Mamdani was soiled following an incident in which MISR research fellow Stella Nyanzi stripped naked protesting a move by Mamdani to evict her from her office.
Nyanzi, a cousin to Ddumba had reportedly refused to teach doctorate students at MISR.