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Mak council sustains MUASA reps to staff appeals tribunal

FILE PHOTO: Makerere University

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Makerere University Council, the supreme organ of the institution, has upheld the nomination of two law dons to the university staff appeals tribunal.

The two, Dr Phionah Muhwezi Mpanga, a Labour & Criminal Law Don and Associate Prof. Ronald Kakungulu-Mayambala, an administrative law expert had been blocked from swearing-in as new members of the tribunal due to a pending petition, over a month ago.

The said petition was filed on June 21 2019, by Edison Ireeta Munanura, an assistant lecturer in the Department of Pharmacy and Dickson Kanakulya, a lecturer in the Department of Philosophy, both members of the Makerere University Staff Association.

They were challenging the process leading to the nomination of the staff representatives to the council, intimating that it was incomplete disregard of the Universities and Other Tertiary Institutions Act, the MUASA constitution, the Electoral Commission guidelines and best practices in democratic elections.

But Uganda Radio Network has learnt that the University council has given a nod to the two nominees, a decision which was endorsed during its retreat held in Jinja on August 7.

“…the University Council considered this matter and decided as follows; that Dr Ronald Mayambala and Dr Phiona Mpanga be allowed to swear in as members of the Staff Tribunal representing MUASA,” a communication signed by the university Vice-Chancellor Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe says.

The communication was addressed to the Acting Chairperson of the Makerere University Academic Staff Association –MUASA, Professor Edward Nector Mwavu and copied to the petitioners.

The Staff Appeals Tribunal is a quasi-judicial organ that provides a forum for aggrieved members of staff to be heard by an independent team of persons, led by a qualified member of the Justice Department of Uganda, a level or qualified to be a Judge.  The current tribunal is headed by retired High Court Judge Patrick Tabaro.

It is through the Tribunal that aggrieved members of staff get a right to a fair hearing and appropriate redress, without hindrances from the university system. It also serves as a system of checks and balances for the Appointments Board.

Early this week, the staff at Makerere University expressed concern over the manner in which the Vice-Chancellor had handled issues relating to the staff appeals tribunal.  They accused Nawangwe of frustrating efforts to have the staff appeals tribunal fully constituted by blocking the nominated members by the academic staff.

More than 20 cases are pending hearing and decision of the staff tribunal since March this year.



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