The University of Ghana (UG) branch of the University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG) has initiated an impeachment process against the national president of UTAG, Professor Charles Ofosu Marfo.
The lecturers are accusing Prof. Ofosu Marfo of misrepresenting and sidelining their views on the Public Universities Bill currently in Parliament.
“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 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.
In a statement signed by Dr Samuel Nkumbaan, UG-UTAG President accused Professor Charles Ofosu Marfo of not being 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.
UG-UTAG explained in the statement that the proposed Public Universities Bill 2020 when passed, will give room for ‘unnecessary’ government interference in the affairs of public universities.
UG-UTAG has therefore dissociated itself from the position taken by the national president to get the Bill passed into law.
The Public University Bill, 2020 when passed will among other things give the President, the powers to appoint Vice Chancellors and majority members of the University Council.
This has attracted wide public criticisms from stakeholders of education, including former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ghana, Prof. Ernest Aryeetey.
The University of Ghana lecturers contend that Vice-Chancellors could become puppets of politicians under the Public University Bill.
The Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences has described the bill as poorly motivated.
Former Vice-Chancellors of the University of Ghana, Prof. Ernest Aryeetey and Prof. Ivan Addae-Mensah have all called for the Bill to be withdrawn from Parliament.
I’ll resign if Bill is passed
The Dean of the University of Ghana School of Law (UGSL), Professor Raymond Atuguba has also made similar calls.
According to Atuguba, the Bill needs to be thrown out because it goes against the country’s laws and would only take numerous amendments to make it “constitutionally wholesome”.
Prof. Atuguba, who had earlier threatened to possibly resign and take legal action if the controversial Bill is passed is demanding that the Education Committee in Parliament asks the sector Minister to rework the Bill before relaying same before the House.
“I expect the Committee on Education to reject it completely and equivocally. I have read this Bill and it will take hundreds of amendments to make it constitutionally wholesome and we know that the tradition in our Parliament since it started operating in 1993 is that, when a Bill is that problematic, they urge the Minster laying it on behalf of the President to withdraw the Bill, completely rework it and bring it back rather than come to the consideration stage and be subject to 300 disparate and confusing motions for amendment. So I expect the Education Committee to ask the Minister to withdraw the Bill, rework it completely before relaying it,” he told Umaru Sanda Amanda in an interview on the Point Blank segment on Eyewitness News.