Through his lawyer, Isaac Ssemakadde, Mushomi, a lecturer in the School of Statistics and Planning on Thursday told the tribunal that he was unfairly suspended and that the suspension of four years without pay was harsh, excessive and in contravention of employment laws.
Dr John Mushomi Atwebembeire, one of the 45 Makerere University
staff that was suspended has asked the University Staff Appeals Tribunal to quash
his four-year suspension without pay.
Through his lawyer, Isaac Ssemakadde, Mushomi, a lecturer in the School of
Statistics and Planning on Thursday told the tribunal that he was unfairly
suspended and that the suspension of four years without pay was harsh,
excessive and in contravention of employment laws.
Dr Mushomi was suspended in December last year for four years without pay for
allegedly assaulting his colleague. He ran to the Staff Appeals Tribunal to
challenge the decision of the University Appointments Board, saying the ruling
flouted several procedures.
The tribunal presided over by retired High Court Judge, Justice
Patrick Tabaro heard that the Appointments Board meeting deciding his
suspension lacked quorum and that it flouted several procedures to arrive at
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Ssemakadde submitted that the Appointments Board did not have any rules of
procedure followed since the university legal officers who were forming the
prosecution team also participated in decision making by the appointments
He disclosed that prior to the hearing before the Board, the appellant,
Dr Mushomi and his lawyer were locked out of the meeting room while the
university lawyers, the prosecutors dinned with the appointments Board which he
said failed the bias test.
Ssemakadde states that university was
the investigator, the prosecutor and the judge in the case of Mushomi.
According to Ssemakadde, while Dr Mushomi expected to receive the ruling of the
Appointments Board decision formally but were rather ambushed by a letter of
suspension which bore no explanations of how the decisions were arrived.
“My Lord, I request the tribunal members to look at the suspension
letter of Dr Mushomi. The content, context and rationale for the deliberation
and final decision were regrettably unknown,” Ssemakadde said.
In his guidance, Justice Tabaro stated that; “Every decision-maker according to
the law is expected to give reasons as to why they arrive at their decision.”
In his prayers to the tribunal, Ssemakadde asked the Tribunal to accept the
appeal, set aside the suspension aside and declare it illegal and time bad
since it contravenes the law.
He observed that if it is not declared an illegality, the university is likely
to repeat it. Ssemakadde says public officials appointed to either
the university council and or the University Appointments Board should bring
ethics and good practices of corporate governance rather than the opposite. He
faulted the appointments Board of signing attendance and pick money for the
proceedings when they were absent.
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He also prayed that in the interest of reconciliation, the Tribunal should
order that no further formal proceedings of the same matter be done since the
employment act encouraged it.
“We also pray that he be reinstated into university service with effect from
11th December 2018, when the impugned decision was made. We pray that the
decisions and proceedings of the Appointments Board be expunged from his
employment file so that he is not held for the same offences in the future,”
Counsel Ssemakadde submitted to the tribunal.