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Appointments Board: Mak staff question ULS nomination process

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The Makerere Joint Staff Associations has urged the Uganda Law Society (ULS) to independently nominate its representative to the University Appointment Board.

In a letter dated November 16th, 2023 the staff, represented by the Makerere University Academic Staff Association, the Makerere Administrative Staff Association, and the National Union of Education Institutions, made this plea to Moses Okwalinga, the Chief Executive Officer of the Uganda Law Society.

Their concern arose from Okwalinga’s call on November 8th for a ULS nominee to serve on the Makerere University Appointments Board. Okwalinga stated that the Council and vetting committee established by the President would have discretion in selecting the most suitable nominee, considering various criteria and prevailing circumstances.

The Joint Staff, in their letter, said this note points to a potential collusion between the Law Society President and some members of the Makerere University Council to nominate a representative aligned with the Council’s interests rather than truly representing the Uganda Law Society. They argue that the nominee should be a choice of the Uganda Law Society, not a nominee of the Makerere University Council.

“As staff, we strongly reject this provision and behest that the ULS should maintain her independence in the election of a nominee to the Makerere University Appointments Board,” reads part of the Joint Staff letter.

“An independent nominee would tell them without any fear or favor that here you are stumbling or not, but a member who is not independent and who is likely to collude with a section of members of the appointments board will not independently advise the appointments board, and actually that is the biggest challenge we are seeing ahead, these people may want someone who may not tell them the truth,” a source told URN.

This development follows previous concerns raised by the staff regarding a proposed nomination of Innocent Kihika as the ULS representative to the University Appointments Board. Although Kihika had not been officially nominated, the staff opposed his potential candidacy citing past shortcomings during his short-term tenure.

The staff has long advocated for the reinstatement of the University Staff Appeals Tribunal, which was recently suspended as the chairperson, Justice Patrick Tabaro, was said to lack the necessary qualifications.

The tribunal plays a crucial role in providing an alternative avenue for dismissed University staff to challenge the decisions of the Appointments Board.

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URN

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