Mityana Municipality MP Hon. Francis Zaake Butebi has said he doesn’t regret his confrontational behavior against Makerere University Vice Chancellor Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe, because he was acting out of frustration.
The remarks are contained in a statement the legislator released today following an incident when he harshly confronted the Makerere University Vice Chancellor Barnabas Nawangwe after a session of the Parliamentary Committee on Education on Wednesday.
The independent but opposition-leaning legislator confronted Prof. Nawangwe immediately after committee proceedings which Nawangwe and officials from Makerere University had attended to answer queries over management issues at the University that have for a very long time pitted students against management leading to intermittent demonstrations.
Zaake’s conduct attracted the interest of the Speaker of Parliament Rt. Hon. Rebecca Kadaga who directed the Parliamentary Committee on Rules, Privileges, and Discipline to probe his continued unruly, foul-mouthed and ill-mannered conduct within and outside parliament. The Speaker made the directive after retrieving footage of Zaake harassing, abusing and threatening to beat up Makerere University Vice Chancellor.
Hon. Zaake who is currently out of the country says, his conduct was out of frustration from both the chairperson of the committee, and the conduct of Prof. Nawangwe, for which he has no regrets.
“I do not regret my zealous and lawful efforts to hold prof. Nawangwe and his daminstration accountable for the terror and other grave injustices that has been silentlybut routinely and cruelly visted upon students”
Hon. Zaake who took part in the proceedings of the committee said that over two hours of the proceedings, he kept asking questions regarding mistreatment of students at Makerere University but Prof. Nawangwe maintained a contemptuous smile on his face, did not show remorse for his actions, and later referred questions to his juniors who could not answer “technical questions.”
He says the proceedings concluded without getting answers to his questions which forced him to engage the professor in an informal discussion in which he strongly implored him to revise his conduct and properly guide his juniors.
Zaake said he asked Prof. Nawangwe in his personal and official capacity to exolpain allegations that he condoned the military invasion of the university during which students were tortured, sexually assaulted and their property destroyed. That as a parent and a victim of multiple torture, he felt disappointed by the professor’s contemptuous conduct, disrespect for accountability and disregard of life of students under his protection.
He said even when he requested the chairperson to compel Nawangwe to respond, he was shut up with a wave of the hand. Zaake contends that it is not true that he insulted Prof. nawangwe, and that “the powers that be” are attempting to draw public attention from the crisis at Makerere to his personal conduct during proceedings.