H.E Mirembe Racheal Sserwadda, the 24th Guild President of Uganda Christian University (UCU) main campus recently made a reshuffle in her cabinet on 25th May 2022, ahead of marking 130 days in office.According to the Guild General Secretary, the changes were made in order to accelerate the efficiency towards the attainment of the 5-point program and not due to personal weaknesses realized.
However, it is rather dismaying that three of the ministers have not only declined their appointment to new offices but as well resigned from the Guild Cabinet after the reshuffle was made.
Through letters addressed to H.E the Guild President, they have communicated their unwillingness to serve in the offices they have been appointed to and their resignation from their former positions.
They include Alikutu Asmah Musa who was serving as the Vice-Chairperson Electoral Commission, Muhereza Brian Byamukama who deputised the Education Minister, And Hon Mark Walusimbi, the resigned Attorney General of the cabinet.
However, a key question raised is whether the guild president of the institution can carry out a guild cabinet reshuffle.
Article 23 of the UCU guild constitution establishes the office of the guild president as the head of the guild and Article 35(1) of the same constitution gives the president powers to appoint a cabinet to assist him or in her duties.
Bayern Turinawe Turinamukama, a former UCU guild parliament speaker and a legal scholar at the law development centre emphasized this article and also gave a legal explanation for this.
“There is no law that will give you powers to appoint without powers to impeach, disapprove or disappoint.” He further stated that having these powers implies that a president has residual powers to reshuffle even if it is not provided for in the guild constitution (UCU) and it is the right of the president to fire and hire.
“ the UCU constitution has an article that allows the national laws and practice to fill In such gaps and in our national laws and practice, a president can hire and fire.” Bayern stated.
For an institution practising internal democracy, it is very clear that such an issue will raise both praise and criticism from the UCU student community.
If the constitution authorizes her then it’s well & good.
She is very right