Court sets date for Nyanzi case against Makerere

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The Ugandan High Court will on January 9 start hearing a case in which sacked Makerere University research fellow Stella Nyanzi sued the varsity seeking payment of her wages as per orders of the Staff Appeals Tribunal.

According to Dr Nyanzi’s Centre for Legal Aid lawyers, the university’s new human resource director Andrew Abuyang will be cross-examined on the first day of the hearing.

The lawyers said they will cross-examine Mr Abuyang on why he allegedly concealed key information from the court about the minutes regarding Ms Nyanzi’s appearance before the university’s appointments board on October 23, 2018.

“Makerere University human resource director will be questioned about why he didn’t wait for the court’s decision before purporting to ‘sack’ Dr Nyanzi since their decision was made after she had sued Makerere and after the court had set a date for trial,” Mr Isaac Kimaze, one of Ms Nyanzi’s lawyers, said on Monday.

In her petition, Ms Nyanzi wants the university to be held in contempt for ignoring the tribunal orders issued about three months ago to pay her salary arrears.

Ms Nyanzi also wants the university to pay her benefits and emoluments due to her by virtue of her employment.

The lecturer, who spent the festive season in Luzira Prison on charges of cyber harassment and offensive communication against President Yoweri Museveni, also wants the court to reinstate her as a research fellow at Makerere Institute of Social Research.

In October, Makerere University Staff Appeals Tribunal lifted Ms Nyanzi’s suspension and ordered that she be paid all her pending salary arrears.

The tribunal held that the indefinite suspension of Ms Nyanzi was illegal and contravened the country’s employment law, which prohibits employees from being suspended for more than four weeks or duration of an inquiry.

Ms Nyanzi was indefinitely suspended last year for allegedly insulting the First Lady Janet Museveni, who is also the education minister.

In its defence, Makerere University has argued that while Ms Nyanzi was on suspension, her contract expired and has never been renewed, varied or extended and that there has never been any process to change her employment terms.

“The applicant’s contract had ended on May 30, 2016, and as such the Appointments Board sought their guidance on the issue of their jurisdiction to conduct the disciplinary proceedings or the applicant’s reinstatement and the legal ground for payment of emoluments beyond the expiry of her contract,” reads in part Makerere’s defence.

The case is before Justice Lydia Mugambe Ssali.


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Publish date : 2019-01-01 10:50:00

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