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Makerere Staff Tribunal Sitting Flops Again Over Missing Minutes

Speaking to URN shortly after the Tribunal session, Advocate Innocent Okong, of Kob Advocates & Solicitors, representing Dr. Ocita expressed disappointment with the university for using delaying tactics to frustrate justice of his client by failing to produce minutes on time.
12 Mar 2019 21:09
L-R: Mavis Kansime, a University Employment officer, Henry Mwebe, Director Legal affairs of Makerere and Naome Kiconco, the a University legal officer

Audio 2

The Makerere University Staff Appeals Tribunal hearing flopped for the second time on Tuesday due to the failure by the university to table minutes relating to the mass staff sacking in December last year.

 

The Appeals Tribunal had scheduled to resume hearing of petitions by Dr. James Ocita, a senior lecturer in the department of literature, Dr. Charles Niwagaba, an expert in Automotive, Environmental and Chemical Engineering from the College of Engineering, Design, Art and Technology – CEDAT and Dr. John Mushomi Atwebembeire, a population expert in the School of Statistics at Makerere.    

The trio is challenging the decision made by the University Appointments Board last year.  Dr. Ocita was dismissed from the University for willful insubordination or disobedience and refusal to take lawful orders from the Vice Chancellor.   

Ocita, who is also a former Research Fellow at Makerere Institute of Social Research –MISR was also faulted by the Board for alleged use of slanderous, abusive or insulting language or behavior against Prof. Mahmood Mamdani, the Director of the institute and an unspecified “colleagues”.   

Dr. Niwagaba on the other hand was dismissed for allegedly failing to submit examination scripts and results of students for Course PIM8102 - Water Resources and Sanitation Management for more than 10 months to authorities despite numerous appeals from the Dean, School Board, College Academic Board and Deputy Vice Chancellor Academic Affairs and Vice Chancellor.   

Dr. Mushomi was suspended for four years without pay for allegedly assaulting his colleague. However, on Tuesday afternoon, the tribunal Chairperson, George Omunyokol heard from  a team of university lawyers lead by Henry Mwebe, the Legal Director that the university had not furnished the appellants and the Tribunal registry with the minutes of the Board meeting on the decision.   

The University was ordered to produce the minutes by Friday March 15, 2019, which they obliged. The matter was adjourned to March 20, 2019 and all parties asked to appear ready for hearing.   

Speaking to URN shortly after the adjournment, Innocent Okong of Kob Advocates & Solicitors who is representing Dr. Ocita expressed disappointment with the University for using delaying tactics to frustrate justice for his client.

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The case of Dr. Niwagaba was adjourned to March 20, 2019 because his lawyer didn’t appear. While university lawyer, protested that Counsel Isaac Ssemakadde of Centre for Legal Aid shouldn’t represent Dr. Mushomi since there was no notice of instruction from the applicant.

They insisted that counsel Anthony Wameli Yeboah of Wameli & Co. Advocates who was absent on schedule for another matter in Nabweru Court was the one on file in a January 3rd 2019 application to represent Dr. Mushomi.    

Even when Richard Wananda from Wameli & Co. Advocates informed the tribunal that they together with Ssemakadde were jointly representing Mushomi, Mwebe insisted that he be stopped from representing Mushomi until he regularizes his appearance.  

  The matter was adjourned to Tuesday, March 19, 2019.

Ssemakadde told URN shortly after the tribunal that the University was using several tactics to divert the tribunal and prolong the proceedings.  

He argued that the university lawyers are on a mission to frustrate staff who appealed by causing delays in the delivery of justice through endless adjournments and failure to submit documents including minutes that would be relied on by staff.  

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URN’s attempt to speak to the University legal director were turned town after he dismissed the reporter that; “we don’t argue our law in press.”