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Court orders Mak to pay costs for delaying to submit defense

Makerere University

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT  | The Industrial Court has ordered Makerere University to pay costs for inconveniencing lawyers for non-teaching staff who are currently challenging under payment by the institution.

The Industrial Court was expected to deliver its judgement in an appeal case in which Makerere University challenged the earlier decision of KCCA Labour court officer, Hannington Kasagga.

The labour officer faulted Makerere for breaching employees contracts by committing an illegality when it created parallel salary structures, leading to underpayment of nearly 100 administrative staff. While both parties were expected to submit all court documents by September 28th, Makerere University, which is appealing only managed to submit this week.

While presiding over the matter, the head of the Industrial Court, Justice Asaph Ruhinda Ntegye and a panel of five judges explained to court that they were not ready with the judgement because Makerere University had delayed to submit its defense on time.

URN established that the university submitted its defence days before the judgement day.

Makerere was ordered to pay costs of the delay and fine any rejoinder if any by 16th December.

The staff had in their application initially demanded an explanation from the university why the M6 scale salary scale was split in 2017 to create M6.1 and M6.2 salary scales. Some of the staff includes Mary Nakyewa, Bennet Magara, and Joseph Kalema.

Others are Thomas William Baguma and George Turyamureeba and 92 others.

After the hearing, the court established that the university had illegally altered salary scales and ordered the university to refund the money to its administrative staff arising from salary discrepancies amounting to 3.2 billion shillings at the time.

However Makerere had appealed to the Industrial court citing lack of jurisdiction.

The University was represented by Hudson Musoke, from the university legal directorate and Faith Atukunda, who was holding brief for Counsel Muzamiru Kibeedi of Kibeedi & Co Advocates.

Vincent Mugisha of Kesiime & Co advocates, the administrative staff’s lawyer, told URN shortly after court that he was disappointed in the way Makerere was delaying the court case.

“We were supposed to file all court papers by 28th of September, all of us we agreed. It was in agreement. Now, from 28th September to date when we are supposed to receive a ruling or judgement or an award, nothing was on record. They just filed yesterday but one,” Mugisha told URN.

He adds that the law doesn’t allow an application of extension of time. The Labour Court has however extended time for its decision to April 10th 2020.

Meanwhile, the administrative staff’s lawyers say they have just received the university submissions which they will respond to next week on Monday while the university has up to December 16th to respond with a rejoinder if any.



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