Dean criticised for violating faculty’s apolitical status

A human rights non-governmental organisation has criticised the dean of the University of Kinshasa’s social sciences faculty for supporting a candidate in the country’s presidential election in the name of the university, in violation of its apolitical status.

The Congolese Association for Access to Justice (ACAJ) sent a condemnatory letter to Professor Albert Muluma Munanga, dean of the faculty of social, administrative and political sciences of Unikin, as the university is known.

Munanga had written in the name of the faculty to congratulate Emmanuel Shadary for being selected as presidential candidate for the Front Commun pour le Congo, and promising support, reported the Agence d’Information d’Afrique Centrale, or ADIAC .

ADIAC published a facsimile of the letter that ACAJ had sent to Munanga, which the NGO had copied to Unikin’s director and board of management.

“If it is true that you have the right to choose and support your candidate, it is also true that you must do so outside the faculty, a public service, without using its facilities, even less, your academic functions,” wrote ACAJ to Munanga.

The ACAJ said it hoped that the university’s director and management board “will not hesitate to take disciplinary action in the face of this flagrancy, the more so since several students have already been punished in the past for having ‘excercised political activities on Unikin property’. There must not be double standards.”

ADIAC reported that in his letter to Shadary – a former student of the faculty – on 13 August, Munanga had expressed his support and encouragement. “The faculty of social, administrative and political sciences … has the singular honour to tell you that it is delighted and exultant on the occasion of your appointment by the President of the Republic as candidate for the major political platform FCC in the presidential election of December 2018,” he wrote.

“United around its dean, it presents its sincere congratulations and encouragement, and assures you that it will support you up to the happy outcome of the electoral process.” – Compiled by Jane Marshall

This article is drawn from local media.
University World News cannot vouch for the accuracy of the original reports.