Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The Makerere University Staff Appeals Tribunal will resume next month.
This is according to Retired High Court Judge, John Patrick Mashongo Tabaro, the new tribunal chairperson.
The tribunal last sat in April under the leadership of George Omunyokol whose term ended in March.
Justice Tabaro, who was appointed by the Makerere Chancellor Prof. Ezra Suruma last month, says they have held several meetings to ensure proper operations of the tribunal.
“We are remaining with an induction and we should be able to commence operations this coming month. We are still studying the whole process and where the old team had reached,” Justice Tabaro,” he says.
In their May 16, 2019 petition to Lorna Magara, the Chairperson of the Makerere University Council, the joint staff associations decried the stalemate that had delayed justice to several staff as a result of lack of substantive tribunal.
The staff disclosed that as a matter of utmost urgency the tribunal is a crucial court that requires the university to facilitate so it handles staff issues expeditiously.
The staffs at Makerere say, appellants, who were illegality and vindictively removed from the payroll, have family obligations, medical conditions, and desire to have their salaries promptly restored and their cases urgently disposed of. “Justice delayed is justice denied,” says Dr Edward Nector Mwavu, the interim Chairperson of the Makerere University Academic Staff Association –MUASA.
There were 11 appeals resulting from Appointments Board’s decisions of December 2018 in which a whopping 45 senior academic and administrative staff were sacked.
Among these are eight staff who were dismissed and removed from the payroll which Isaac Ssemakadde, the chief legal advisor for the Joint Staff Associations (MUASA, MASA & NUEI), said was an illegality in contravention of the Universities and Other Tertiary Institutions Act.
While the act requires disposal of these appeals within 45 days, the staff; Perez Arinaitwe, Steven Tumutegyereize, Dr James Ocita, Prof Charles Niwagaba, Dr Mushomi John Atwebembeire, Dr Juma Anthony Okuku, Dr Stella Nyanzi and Dr Denis Asiimwe among others have been wrongfully deprived of speedy justice and salary for more than six months.
During the previous session of the tribunal, URN understands that the hearings of these cases failed to take off because the University repeatedly failed to provide the Tribunal with minutes upon which the decisions of the Appointments Boards were based.
On April 16, the tribunal made rulings on 14 cases. Two months later, the concerned appellants whose rulings were made argue they have not had their written rulings finalized and served to them so that justice can be served and be seen to have been served.