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Former Mak Appointments Board Chairperson, Lawyer Faulted for Illegal Staff Dismissal

Dr. Isaac Okullo, the Deputy Principal of the College of Health Sciences, Dr. Rose Chalo Nabirye-the Dean of the School of Health Sciences were relieved of their duties for incompetence, while Fatumah Nakatudde-the Deputy College Registrar and Paul Apunyo, a senior Administrative Assistant were dismissed for alleged altering student's marks.
Former Chairperson of the Makerere University Appointments Board Bruce Balaba Kabaasa and University Legal Director Henry Mwebe
Henry Mwebe, the Makerere University’s legal director and Bruce Kabaasa, the former Chairperson of the University appointments board have been faulted for conducting irregular disciplinary proceedings against four key university staff.  

Dr. Isaac Okullo, the Deputy Principal of the College of Health Sciences, Dr. Rose Chalo Nabirye-the Dean of the School of Health Sciences were relieved of their duties for incompetence, while Fatumah Nakatudde-the Deputy College Registrar and Paul Apunyo, a senior Administrative Assistant were dismissed for alleged altering student's marks.  

The staff appeals tribunal in its ruling on consolidated appeals found that the disciplinary process leading to the demotion of the staff was devoid of basic principles of natural justice. 

Bruce Kabaasa, the then chairperson of the Appointments Board is faulted for failing to control the direction of the proceedings while Mwebe is accused of appearing as a complainant, the prosecutor and a judge in the same case.  

The tribunal could not discuss the merits of the appeal cases by the staff especially having found that the Appointments Board of the University failed to adhere to the principles of natural justice while conducting disciplinary proceedings against the staff.

It ordered for their immediate reinstatement to their positions immediately and their names reinstated on the university payrolls with immediate effect.

The Appointments Board has also been ordered to conduct a proper disciplinary hearing for the four staff on the allegations against them within 60 days effective from the ruling.

The tribunal further guided that the role of the legal department of the university in the disciplinary process should be clearly de-linked from the role of the Appointments Board. 

“The legal department should guide in the investigation, charging and prosecution of the employees appearing before the Appointments Board. But should not participate in discussions or reviews together with the members of the Appointments Board” 

The staff were accused of incompetence and failure to perform their duties efficiently when three students were irregularly added onto the graduation list for February 2017 for the award of the Degree of Pharmacy.

The decision was taken by the Appointments Board at its 575th meeting held on October 5, 2018, where in the board agreed to conduct disciplinary hearing against the four staff.

The tribunal according its ruling says the charges preferred against Dr. Okullo and Dr. Chalo were the same charges read to Nakatudde and Apunyo.

The tribunal contends that by allowing Mwebe who is a non-member of the Appointments Board to cross-examine a party who had been charged, the Board acted irregularly. 

Kabaasa, is also faulted for failing to control the direction of the proceedings when he allowed a non-member of the Board to ask Dr. Okullo questions. 

The tribunal further noted that the charges against Apunyo and Nakatudde were read out to them at the end of the hearing and that the Appointments Board was impatient to give the accused staff, time to prepare and defend themselves.

George Omunyokol, the Chairperson of the tribunal observes that the tribunal is aware of the powers of the Appointments Board to invite any person to give technical advice in any meeting of the board.