GULU: Gulu University Management is set to hold meetings with student guild officials over their grievances against the University Guild President, Thomas Lapyem Awany.
The student leaders last week resolved to expel Lapyem from holding the functions of the Guild President and transfer the powers to his vice, Winnie Brenda Atim. The guild leaders said that Lapyem had harassed, threatened, insulted, and put down the guild leaders.
Nelson Balaza, the Guild Prime Minister, wrote to students at the university on May 30, and URN got a copy of the letter. In it, he said that Lapyem no longer has the right to represent the student’s guild.
“This notice serves to inform the general student’s fraternity of Gulu University that H.E Lapyem Thomas Awany is not entitled to represent the 20th Guild Government on any official duties until further notice,” The letter is led by the University Guild Prime Minister, Nelson Balaza, the letter reads in part.
The guild leaders also asked Lapyem to answer the charges against him in front of the student disciplinary committee.
Francis Opiyo, who is the acting Dean of Students at Gulu University, said that student guild officials had complained.
He does, however, point out that even though the leaders of the student guild have decided to remove Lapyem from office, the university still sees him as the student leader until the matter is settled in a peaceful way.
Opiyo says they were supposed to meet on Friday with the aggrieved student leaders and the accused Guild President, but the meeting has been pushed to next week.
Gulu University Deputy Public Relations Officer James Ojok Onono says the move taken by the student’s guild was illegal since they violated their own guild constitution.
Onono notes that Lapyem was expelled by the student guild in his absence without his side of the story being heard in a disciplinary committee. Lapyem had travelled to Germany by the time of his impeachment.
“Lapoyem’s being outside the country wasn’t illegal; the university funded his trip, but the leaders took the opportunity of his absence to disorganize the guild.” If they had an issue with Lapyem, they should have been patient, waited for him to come back, and written to the dean and summoned him. “That would have been recognised by the management,” says Onono.
He says the University has no problem with the Guild officials subjecting the Guild President to disciplinary action as long as the rightful procedures are undertaken.
However, Lapyem denied the allegations against him, saying they were baseless. Lapyem was elected as the 20th Guild President in December last year.