Suspension of Remaining Makerere Staff Leaders Likely to Be Lifted Soon

Makerere University staff attending a General Assembly during a recent staff strike over suspension of Association leaders.

Just a day after Makerere University lifted the suspension of the Chairperson of the academic staff Association, Deus Kamunyu, the remaining two staff leaders are as well likely to be granted the same treatment come March 25.

Kamunyu was suspended by the Makerere University Vice Chancellor, Prof Barnabas Nawangwe on January 17, on allegations of misconduct and insubordination, but he would later rush to court to challenge the decision.

The move prompted the University to prefer settling the matter out of court and consequently, his suspension was lifted on Wednesday.

Last year, the university dismissed over 40 staff for various reasons including misconduct and absconding from duty.

The dismissed staff also included leaders in the Makerere Administrative Staff Association; Bennet Magara (Chairman) and Kalema Joseph (General Secretary).

Kamunyu and the duo on Wednesday appeared before the Appointments Board chaired by Jolly Uzamukunda, for the preliminary hearing of the disciplinary cases brought against them by Prof Nawangwe.

However, only the suspension of Kamunyu was lifted, prompting Magara and Kalema (who both entered plea of not guilty) to apply for temporary relief as well.

Now, in a letter to each of them from the University’s Director Human Resources, Andrew Abunyang has said the Board will communicate its decision on their application on March 25 when their case is scheduled for hearing.

“During the preliminary hearing held on 13th March, 2019, you made an application for temporary reliefs, that is, lifting of your suspension pending the hearing and determination of this matter. You will receive the board’s decision on the aforesaid hearing date of 25th March, 2019,” read Abunyang’s letter.

On Wednesday, Isaac Ssemakadde, the lawyer for the two complainants, described the decision as an act of injustice.

“The Board has perpetuated an injustice. These illegal suspensions are a hot button issue for all staff of the university, and the Board should take it more seriously than it has done,” Ssemakadde said.

While speaking to SoftPower News on Friday, Ssemakadde said on March 25, he expects “the Board to terminate the disciplinary case altogether, without further ado, so that Nawangwe’s mess is well and truly behind us, and the university can return to the much sought after normalcy”.

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