Court orders MUK to compensate Nyanzi

By Sania Babirye

Makerere University has been ordered to pay costs to its jailed researcher Dr Stella Nyanzi after the university failed to file on time a response to her application against the University for refusing to re-instate her at her job.

The order has been issued by high court judge Lydia Mugambe after justice Mugambe dismissed submissions by university lawyer Hudson Musoke that he failed to file its written response because he was not notified in time.

The case had come up for hearing, however this could not go on because Hudson claimed to have been notified only yesyerday about the application giving him not enough time to file his written response.

But when she checked the court records, the judge discovered that indeed the university was served on the 20th of November 2018 .

As a result, justice Mugambe ordered Makerere to compesate Dr.Nyanzi for denying her a right to a speed trial and justice.

Mugambe further issued summons to the Director of Human Resource at Makerere to be cross examined on the evidence he tendered in his sworn affidavit opposing Nyanzi’s application.

In October this year , Makerere University’s appeal tribunal lifted her suspension and directed that she be be re-instated with all salary arrears paid and promoted to the level of a Fellow Researcher with immediate effect.

However , Makerere University did not honor the directives causing Dr.Nyanzi to sue the university.

Nyanzi is currently on remand at Luzira government prison on fresh charges of posting obscene birthday poem on Facebook where she attacked president M7 and his late mother and she has also refused to seek bail despite the judge advising her to do so .

The case has now been adjourned to the 9th of January 2019 for hearing.

Former MUK chancellor calls for striking staff to be considerate

Former Makerere University Chancellor Prof. Mondo Kagonyera says that the diversion of funds, initially allocated for enhancement of salaries for non-teaching staff in public universities was for a just cause.

Kagonyera’s comments come amid an ongoing strike by non-teaching staffs in public universities. The staffs under their umbrella Public Universities Non-Teaching Staff Executives Forum (PUNTSEF) are demanding for enhancement of their salaries in line with a commitment made in 2015.

As part of the commitment, government was to ensure that salaries of non-teaching staff in public universities across the country are leveled with salaries of teaching staff. The staffs have been striking over the last three weeks following a failed negotiated deal with government over their salary enhancement and arrears amounting to 28 billion Shillings.

However, Education and Sports minister Janet Museveni says that 13.5 billion Shillings, part of the money allocated towards enhancing the salaries of non-teaching staff was used to kick-start operations of the new universities. The universities include Kabale University, Soroti University and Lira University.

In an exclusive interview with Uganda Radio Network, Prof Kagonyera said the diversion was well-intentioned and should be appreciated. Prof. Kagonyera also advised the striking staff to be considerate.

Professor Mondo Kagonyera also faults a proposal to match salaries of academic staff with non-academic staff saying it is not ideal given the competitiveness of academic staff all over the world.