The University of Pretoria in South Africa has distanced itself from a media statement issued by Michelo Hansangule, who is Chairman, Africa Centre for Good Governance and Professor of Law at the institution calling on the United Nations Secretary General to recall United Nations Resident Coordinator in Zambia Janet Rogan.
In a letter dated 24th April, 2018 University’s Registrar Professor Caroline Nicholson says Professor Hansungule did not follow procedure or seek clearance from the Vice Chancellor and Principal of the University when he commented on governance issues in Zambia.
According to a statement released to the media by Mrs Naomi Nyawali, First Secretary Press and Public Relations at Zambia’s High Commission in South Africa, the University of Pretoria says it is concerned that Professor Hansungule expressed his personal opinion using the name of the university by using its letterhead to issue a statement without being authorised by the institution.
The Registrar has since assured the Zambian Mission in Pretoria that the University will take steps to ensure that the error of judgement of Professor Hansungule in using an official letterhead for his statement of opinion will not be repeated.
The University’s reaction follows a letter written to the Institution by Zambia’s High Commissioner to South Africa His Excellency Mr. Emmanuel Mwamba on the 19th of April ,2018 who sought clarification from the University whether frequent statements issued by Professor Hansungule concerning local Zambian political issues using the University’s letterhead stationery, were a reflection of the institution’s views.
The Registrar disclosed that Professor Hansungule has since been made to revoke his statement and has apologised to management for the use of the Centre’s letterhead to express his personal opinions.
Professor Nicholson stressed that the opinion expressed in the particular statement dated 14th April 2018 on UN Resident Coordinator in Zambia, were an expression of personal opinion of Professor Hansungule and did not represent the official opinion of either the Centre for Human Rights or the University of Pretoria.
Mr. Mwamba expressed concern that most of the issues that Professor Hansungule raised particularly in his letter to the Administrator of the United Nations Development Program in New York regarding the recall of Janet Rogan who is the UN Resident Coordinator for Zambia appeared to represent the official position of the University of Pretoria.
Mr. Mwamba has since thanked the University for its prompt response to the High Commission’s concerns.
He also expressed gratitude that the University management had shown it’s determination to correct or rectify the misrepresentations made by Prof. Hansungule.