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Nawangwe blocks MUASA representatives on Staff Appeals Tribunal

FILE PHOTO: Vice-Chancellor, Professor Barnabas Nawangwe

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Makerere University Vice-Chancellor Professor Barnabas Nawangwe has blocked two academic staff leaders nominated on the Staff Appeals Tribunal.

The two are Dr Phiona Muhwezi Mpanga, a Labour & Criminal Law don and Associate Prof. Ronald Kakungulu-Mayambala, an administrative law expert both from the Makerere school of law.

On Thursday last week, Makerere University Academic Staff Association –MUASA in their General Assembly unanimously nominated the duo as their new representatives to the tribunal, following the expiry of the term of office of the George Omunyokol-led tribunal.

MUASA has been represented by Dr Rose Nakayi and Professor Muhammad Ntale.

Now, Professor Nawangwe says the said nominees will not be sworn in as members of the tribunal until the matter arising from a petition he has received against the nomination of two.

It is not clear who has petitioned and the contents of the petition, that Professor Nawangwe says he has directed the university lawyers to assess its merits and demerits.

“The petition alleges the following; disregard of the Universities and Other Tertiary Institutions Act; disregard of the MUASA constitution (2017); misleading addendum and disenfranchising aggrieved persons; conflict of interest; disregard of electoral commission guidelines and disregard for best practices in democratic election,” Professor Nawangwe says.

Staff Appeals Tribunal is an 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.

Through the Tribunal, aggrieved members of staff get a right to a fair hearing and appropriate re-dress, without hindrances from the University system. The Tribunal also serves as a system of checks and balances for the Appointments Board.

Associate Professor Edward Nector Mwavu, the interim MUASA chairperson says his office has not received any petition. He says all he knows is that MUASA followed process legally to nominate the two representatives.

Mwavu says whatever happens in university management is upon the university managers, citing that the association’s General Assembly is its supreme organ that decides as and when and what to do with the association’s progress.

This means that the resumption of the tribunal session scheduled for July is likely to delay owing to lack of quorum arising out of this disagreement.

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