The need for continuous career growth and development has left many professionals devising means to stay afloat.
A section of Makerere University dons has not been an exception as drastic measures have been employed by some to “stay in the game”
Basing on a recent publication by Daily Monitor, Makerere seems to be challenged with a repulsive act of sorcery.
According to the article, on Thursday October 27 last year, a laity from St Augustine Chapel in Makerere was called into a college principal’s office. The principal was thoroughly shaken. A quick spiritual exorcism in the office reassured the principal enough that he was able to post an unusually lengthy sermon on Makerere University Academic Staff Association’s (MUASA) WhatsApp group by Sunday.
More than the length, the sermon was unusual because it was pegged to a dark, embarrassing revelation–witchcraft. The principal had found fetishes abandoned in his office that Thursday. A few dons thought it was too bizarre to hold.
“Real funny things have happened. Two weeks ago, they placed a kaveera (polythene bag) full of a head of a puff adder, a dry frog, chameleon, monitor lizard, bark cloth, and some red substance like blood on a HRs car,” the principal revealed, adding, “Then last week, [together with] my messenger and secretary, we found a funny thing tied like a dead body below one of my office rovers.”
The principal then joked that they had made a mistake in calling a priest to burn it. We, the principal joked, “should have invited guys from [the College of Humanities and Social Sciences] who specialise in African religions and practices.”
Another don offered their sympathies, adding that it was true fetishes had been abandoned on the HR’s car. The HR declined to comment on the allegations, referring us to the college spokesperson. The latter admitted to reading the WhatsApp messages but declined to comment further.
“I’m not sure what the HR did [to resolve the matter]. I also just learnt of it,” the publicist said, adding that efforts to investigate the matter had been difficult since there were no CCTV cameras around the college to rely on.
The principal declined to comment on the matter, saying the university has its communication policy and that “as academics, we cannot peddle in rumours.”
Sources at the ivory tower say dark arts are commonplace. Competition for promotions and job retention drive the elite into much more than relying on books.
“I’ve heard of dog skulls placed in people’s offices. I thought educated people were way above these things, but I think I am wrong. Looks like it is a way of life for some people,” a professor added on the Muasa forum.
In most African settings, hills are held in divine awe as homes of some gods. Makerere sits on one of the seven hills that make up Kampala. Revered as the “spring of knowledge”, it has served much more than the buffet prepared in its lecture rooms.
Dark arts, intrigue, egos, and so many ills are traded in ink and on mortarboards. While there is one college wary of dark arts, that of education and external studies (CEES) appears to have taken their game beyond the hill’s height and imagination.
The Vice Chancellor, Prof Barnabas Nawangwe, on May 10 agreed to institute an investigation into allegations of theft of and doctoring of minutes of meetings after the principal, Prof Anthony Muwagga Mugagga sought his intervention.