Christian Lawyers Centre referred to as LEGAL LINK has literally described the recently formed Political Party Lecturer’s Associations (PPLA) as a political chaos.
According to release by Legal Links, the university serves as the last beacon of hope towards the reformation of a student’s mindset, character, enlightenment, independent thinking and perspective in life, allowing for such open politicisation of lecturers is not only dangerous for learning but will further bring political chaos to an environment that is supposed to be conducive and ultimately undermine the core objectives of the University; which is to impart knowledge, build capacities and promote research.
It is against this backdrop that many universities across the world have set out clear policy guidelines and directives regarding the open involvement of its staff and lecturers in political activities.
The university’s policy guideline on the involvement of its staff and officials in open political activities reads:
“The University shall not, through its officials or units, participate or intervene in any political campaign on behalf of, or in opposition to, any candidate for public office. This prohibits the University from donating to political candidates, political campaign organizations, political parties, political action committees and political organizations. This policy also prohibits the University’s direct or indirect payment or reimbursement of costs incurred by University officials, administrators, faculty and staff to attend a candidate campaign event, such as a breakfast, lunch, dinner or gala. In addition, University officials, administrators, faculty, and staff are not authorized in their official capacity to make public or media statements in support of, or in opposition to, a political campaign or candidate for public office. When making such statements in their capacity as private citizens, such persons must indicate clearly that they are not representing the University or speaking for, or on behalf of, the University.”
In line with the university’s policy guideline, Legal Links has out rightly condemned in the strongest of terms the just formed National Union of SLPP Lecturers and demanded for an immediate dissolution of same.
Legal Links has called on the University of Sierra Leone and all other tertiary institutions to issue out policy guidelines or directives regarding the open involvement in political activities of its staff and lecturers forthwith.