Makerere University Sues Own Tribunal

By Our Reporter




Makerere University has sued its Tribunal for ordering the reinstatement of Dr. Malowa Davis Ndanyi as the Director of Human Resources.


The University is seeking a declaration that the March 1st, 2023 decision by the Tribunal to set aside the termination of the probationary contract of Dr Malowa was irrational, illegal, unjustified, and unreasonable.


They are also seeking a declaration that the Staff Tribunal of Makerere University as a tribunal set up to adjudicate on disputes between the University and its employees or former employees as an administrative/quasi-judicial body, has no powers to appoint or confirm employees in the service of the University.


The University further wants the High Court to issue an immediate order directing the Tribunal to comply with its statutory duty to conduct its affairs by the rules of procedure within the institutional framework.


Evidence before the Court indicates that in 2021, the Appointments Board recruited Dr. Malowa as the Director of Human Resources and was to serve a six-month probationary period before he could be confirmed into the University Service for a 5-year contract of employment.


At the end of his six-month probation period, Dr Malowa allegedly failed to satisfy the Appointments Board with his performance and he instead signed a consent agreement to extend his probationary contract period for another six months to rectify his performance inadequacy.


However, on May 4th, 2022, the Appointments Board decided to terminate his probationary contract without confirmation from the University Service or attaining the five-year employment contract.


According to records, Dr Malowa filed an appeal before the Staff Tribunal.  However, Makerere University contends that throughout the proceedings of the appeal, the Tribunal conducted the same without any rules of procedure as it allegedly took decisions without due regard for the University’s rights.


The Tribunal on May 23rd issued an ex-parte interim order directing the University not to advertise the post of Director of Human Resources, which decision was made without giving them a right to appear and respond to the application even though the applicant was about 100 meters away from the seat of the Tribunal.


Further, the Tribunal later delivered its ruling on March 1st, 2023 setting aside the termination with immediate effect and ordered Dr Malowa’s reinstatement with salary arrears from the time when he was deleted from the payroll to date.


Now Makerere University argues that the Tribunal doesn’t have the mandate to confirm staff in the University and by issuing such an order, it acted outside the law and Institutional framework governing the applicant university.

“That the applicant as an employer has the unfettered right to terminate an employee on probation with or without reason as long as the due procedure is followed. In confirming the 2nd respondent in the service of the university, the 1st respondent acted ultravires its powers and usurped the role of the Appointments Board.

Makerere argues that it followed all due procedure but its Tribunal ignored the same in its ruling. They want the decision quashed in an affidavit sworn by the University Secretary Yusuf Kiranda. The case is yet to be heard.


According to a copy of the appointment letter dated April 7th, 2021, and signed by Lawrence Ssanyu the then Acting Director of Human Resources shows that Dr. Malowa who was picked from his permanent and pensionable job in Public Service Under the Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs, was to receive a consolidate salary of 8.8 per month.


Makerere University has over the years been dragged to court by its staff for illegal termination of contracts.



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