We Won’t Give In To Govt Pressure– UTAG

The University Teachers Association (UTAG) of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) in Kumasi has indicated that it would not succumb to pressure from government to change its representatives on the Governing Council of the University.

According to them, per the KNUST Act, government has no business meddling in the formation of the governing council of the university.

Addressing the media in Kumasi yesterday, Prof Charles Marfo, KNUST UTAG Vice President, stated that the issue of representation of the constituent bodies on the council was not up for discussion by government.

“The representatives of UTAG, TEWU, Alumni and Convocation (both professional and non-professional) have been duly elected through a laid-down process to represent their respective constituents on the council for a defined term,” he disclosed.

Prof Marfo argued that just as Ghanaians vote a government into power for a fixed term and wait patiently to vote it out of office at the end of the term, the unions and associations also have the same mandate per the KNUST Act.

Government and constituent bodies on the Governing Council are in dispute over the selection of representatives.

Government has revealed that individuals who sat on the previous Council ought not to be on the new council, insisting that permanent representations from the constituent bodies such as TEWU, UTAG, Convocation, alumni and SRC ought to be changed.

Government believes members of the previous KNUST governing council were partly to be blamed for the rumpus on campus which led to the shutdown of the university.

This appears to have stalled the formation of the KNUST Council as the bodies also insist on maintaining their representatives on the council in order to counteract manipulations by government.

The formation of a new Governing Council of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) in Kumasi could not take place in Kumasi on Friday November 2, 2018 as announced earlier.

At the press conference, the KNUST UTAG members said government failed to establish whether the grievances of the students came to the attention of the council and rather blamed the governing council in order to dissolve it.

Prof Charles Marfo said government’s action is akin to giving a dog a bad name in order to hang it, adding that the demand of government was against the spirit of the mutual agreement reached between the parties.

“If government claims that the legally constituted  University Council had to be dissolved because of its failure to anticipate and prevent the destructive demonstration by the students, why then did government populate its own seven-member Interim Management Council (IMC) with as many as five members of the old supposedly ‘failed’ and incompetent council?” he quizzed.