UG lecturers threaten to impeach UTAG President over Public University Bill

The University of Ghana chapter of the University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG) has initiated an impeachment process against the national president of UTAG, Prof Charles Ofosu Marfo.

University of Ghana

The lecturers said they took this decision after Prof Ofosu Marfo misrepresented and sidelined their views on the Public Universities Bill currently in Parliament.

According to the lecturers, the President of the Association does reflect their position on the subject in his public utterances and posture.

“At this emergency meeting held on Thursday, June 11, 2020, the University of Ghana branch of UTAG (UG-UTAG) resolve to initiate impeachment proceedings against the national president of UTAG for consistently misrepresenting and sidelining UG-UTAG’s position on the Public Universities Bill 2020 in his public engagements,” the lecturers explained in a statement.

The statement signed by UG-UTAG President, Dr Samuel Nkumbaan said Prof Ofosu Marfo was not committed to the withdrawal or rejection of the Bill which is before Parliament.

“UG-UTAG has observed that the demeanour and public utterances of the national president suggest that he is not committed to carrying out the mandate of the public universities, which is, advocating for the withdrawal or rejection of the Public Universities Bill by the Executive or Parliament, respectively.”

“Per Article XXIV Clause 1 and Article XXV Clause 1 of the UTAG National Constitution, we have initiated impeachment proceedings against the National President. We believe he is not serving the interest of UTAG members in this PUB matter,” excerpts of the statement read.

The UG chapter also dissociated itself from the approval of the bill by the national union saying it does support its passage.

It added that the proposed Public University Bill 2020 when passed will give the government ‘unnecessary’ power to interfere in the affairs of public universities.

Some of the proposals in the Bill grant the President power to dissolve the university Council; b) Allow the university Council to appoint a Chancellor and c) Allow unions to appoint only one representative on a rotational system to serve on the Council at each cycle.

The lecturers argue that this could make the Vice-Chancellors puppets of politicians who will have the appointing power.

The Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences has described the bill as poorly motivated.

Former Vice-Chancellors of the University of Ghana, Prof. Ebenezer Aryeetey, and Prof. Ivan Addae-Mensah have both called for the Bill to be withdrawn from Parliament.

The plan to impeach the national President, according to UG-UTAG, is in line with Article XXIV Clause I and Article XXV Clause 1 of the UTAG national constitution.

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