Special Reports

Mamdani: Nyanzi is Ddumba’s niece but must go


Prof Mamdani

Makerere Institute of Social Research director Prof Mahmood Mamdani says unless Stella Nyanzi is thrown out, he will personally quit the university.

“My contract expired in March 2015. The university then extended my contract by three months, then by three months and now six months,” Mamdani told NBS television on Wednesday.

“I have been reduced to a fundraiser. I have never been humiliated the way I have been humiliated at Makerere,” the professor cried out.

He said unless Stella Nyanzi is out of Makerere Institute of Social Research (MISR), he will not apply for a new contract which ends in June.

Professor Mamdani says the Makerere University Vice Chancellor Ddumba Ssentamu is so oblivious of what happens at MISR, he doesn’t even know when the semester there starts or ends.

“Stella Nyanzi not only doesn’t teach at MISR but also does no research for Makerere Institute of Social Research (MISR). She only does personal work.”

He said Nyanzi has never provided any of her research for evaluation.

“Would you let that continue?”

He added: “Once our case is understood, Stella Nyanzi will be standing alone.”

He said Professor Ddumba Ssentamu can’t appoint a committee to probe Makerere Institute of Social Research (MISR) because it will have to investigate him as well.

Prof. Mahmood Mamdani says a committee to probe MISR should come from outside i.e. the University Council.

“I hope the Makerere University authorities wake up to the fact that we have an emergency at MISR.”

Professor Mamdani says Vice Chancellor has provided no support, he has never come to Makerere Institute of Social Research (MISR) to talk to them but has only been there on two ceremonial occasions.

“I didn’t come here looking for a job. I asked for a 5-year leave of absence from Columbia University. I came here to build Makerere Institute of Social Research (MISR).”

He said the fight is not a fight between two individuals asking the public to pay attention to what is at stake: the PhD programme.

“I have raised a lot of money for MISR. I know the scholarly world. Few will be willing to provide support with Dr Nyanzi still at MISR.”

He said until yesterday, he thought Dr Nyanzi would stay at MISR but not anymore.

“She is a threat to the programme. I was told nobody would deal with Dr Nyanzi because she is the niece of the Vice Chancellor.”

He hired Dr Nyanzi in 2012 and backed her cause from the very start.

Nyanzi agreed to teach and research at the same time. She applied at University of Cape Town on the same promise.

“I informed all researchers that they would spend 50% of their time teaching and 50% researching. Dr Nyanzi refuses to teach and a number of other researchers at Makerere Institute of Social Research (MISR) also refused to teach.”

“When I got this job, my main objective was to turn Makerere Institute of Social Research (MISR) into a research unit and that I would train young researchers.”

Mamdani says he never gave any space to his wife (Mira Nair), says her company had to pay $900 per month and had to renovate the space.

Prof. Mamdani says the company that was renting the space at Makerere University his wife has been using were misusing the space.

As part of the deal, Makerere University students had access to Maisha Film Labs’ video archives, arguably the largest in the country.


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