Appeals tribunal to decide fate of sacked Makerere staff

Makerere University main building. Photo | File

What you need to know:

  • The affected officers are Mr Javason Kamugisha, the director legal services, and Mr Davis Malowa, the director of human resources.

The Makerere University staff Appeals Tribunal, yesterday agreed not to fill or advertise two top positions whose occupants were recently terminated until their grievances are resolved.

The affected officers are Mr Javason Kamugisha, the director legal services, and Mr Davis Malowa, the director of human resources.

The contracts of the duo that were to run for the next five years up to 2026 were terminated by the Appointments Board in a special sitting on May 4, with no apparent reason indicated in the termination letters seen by this publication.

“The matter is adjourned to June 1 and until then, the positions shall not be advertised or filled until the tribunal is able to handle the matter and arrive at a decision,” held Rtd Justice John Patrick Tabaro, the chairperson of the appeals tribunal.

On May 4, the office of the university secretary terminated the probation contract of Mr Kamugisha, according to the Human Resource Manual of the institution.

“In accordance with Section 2.11c of the Human Resource Manual of Makerere University, this is to notify you of the termination of your probationary contract by the Appointments Board,” read in part the termination letter to Mr Kamugisha that this publication has seen.

Adding: “The effective date of the termination shall be with immediate effect.” Mr Kamugisha was terminated with immediate effect whereas Mr Malowa was given two weeks’ notice to leave the institution.

Mr Kamugisha’s lawyer, Mr Jude Byamukama, said the termination was unlawful and arbitrary.

“Mr Kamugisha’s termination has no basis and he has appealed to the tribunal, we are waiting to find out if the arbitrary termination will be allowed to stand or not. My client’s grievances are that he has been doing his job very well and he has appraisals where he scored above 90 percent, so clearly the decision to terminate him is based on ill will and has nothing to do with competence” he said yesterday.

Mr Byamukama also questioned the fairness of the tribunal, arguing that the counsel representing the university is the same person who was picked to act in the capacity of his client, whose contract was unfairly terminated.

According to highly placed sources within the university, Mr Kamugisha’s termination could be because he did not tolerate corruption and refused to participate in any illegitimate activities.

“The problem is Makerere has continued to be a political institution rather than focusing on professionalism, especially to do with legal matters. There are so many matters being mishandled and Mr Kamugisha’s intent was to put them right, but that attempt to put them right has created enmity between him and his colleagues,” a source, who preferred anonymity, claimed.