Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The Makerere University Staff Appeals Tribunal has not had any business for the last two months since it isn’t fully constituted. This follows the expiry of the term of office of the former University council led by Eng. Dr. Charles Wana- Etyem on December 19, 2018 last year. As a result, the term of Dr. Stephen Maloba, the representative of the Council to the Tribunal also expired.
The tribunal is composed of a member from the council, two members from Makerere University Academic Staff Association – MUASA (female and male), two members from Makerere Administrative Staff Association – MASA (female and male), a member from Public service and University top management.
The Staff Appeals Tribunal is provided for under Section 56 (1) of the Universities and Other Tertiary Institutions Act. According to a cause list issued by the Tribunal Registrar, Peter Eneru none of the eleven cases that were lined up for January and February could be heard because of improper composition.
The issue of the composition of the Staff Tribunal was brought to the attention of the University Council at its emergency sitting on Friday leading to the appointment of Dr. Fredrick Kitoogo, the Director of Planning, Research and Development under the National Information Technology Authority – NITA as council representative.
Dr. Fredrick Kitoogo is a member of Makerere University Council appointed by Government. George Omunyokol, the Chairperson Makerere University Staff Appeals Tribunal, says they are ready to resume since the University Council sent its representative. There are over 30 pending cases pending disposal by the Staff Appeals Tribunal, according to sources. Omunyokol says they try to clear the case backlog once they resume work.
The Staff Appeals Tribunal came under fire from staff for failure to expedite the hearing and disposal of their cases in the wake of mass sacking that saw the expulsion of 45 staff at the close of the year.
In one their two legal opinions to the university management, the Law School observed that the failure to fully constitute the Staff Appeals Tribunal couldn’t allow it to effectively execute its mandate.
“In order that the University is seen to accommodate staff grievances, it’s important that the tribunal is immediately fully constituted to avoid further prejudice to the University staff,” opined Law Dons.
Dr. Ronald Kakungulu-Mayambala, a senior Law Don and the representative of Law School to MUASA observes the need for staff associations to exert pressure on the staff tribunal to conduct proceedings as fast as possible.