Controversial lecturer Dr Stella Nyanzi returns to Makerere University today following a decision by the university appointments board to formally end her suspension.
Today morning, Dr Nyanzi posted on Facebook; “…this is my deadline for reporting back to Makerere University.” The university management says Dr Nyanzi will not return to Makerere Institute of Social Research (MISR) where she worked as a fellow before her suspension in April last year, but they are yet to find placement for her.
The appointments board chairperson Bruce Kabasa said Dr Nyanzi will be posted in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences (CHUSS) but they are still “making consultations.”
“The principle to bring her back has been agreed but the posting is still being discussed. What is clear, she is transferred from MISR but where she is going, we are still discussing,” Kabasa said.
Dr Nyanzi was suspended from Makerere University Institute of Social Research in April last year after she staged a nude protest. She was protesting a decision by the institute’s director Prof Mahmood Mamdani to lock her out of office.
Dr Nyanzi and Prof Mamdani’s disagreement stemmed from the former’s refusal to teach the institute’s PhD students and participating in research projects. After her suspension, the university appointment’s board instituted a committee chaired by Ms Sharifah Bukenzi, assistant commissioner, human resource management at the Ministry of Public Service to probe among others the disagreement between the two dons.
The committee observed that Dr Nyanzi’s refusal to take up the teaching role assigned to her by the director MISR was in breach of the terms of her appointment which “she accepted in writing and therefore an act of insubordination.” It recommended that Dr Nyanzi be subjected to a disciplinary action.
Kabasa said she was supposed to serve a six-month suspension which elapsed in October but the university appointments board did not expeditiously decide her fate due inconveniences caused by the November – January closure of the university.
The committee that investigated MISR crisis also noted that Dr Nyanzi was erroneously given a permanent position as a research fellow which is a contractual job. It recommended that the university human resource director make a submission to appointments board requesting for rescinding of a decision that confirmed her as a Makerere University permanent staff.
But Kabasa said her permanent job appointment has not been canceled. He explained; “She resumes on her old contract. She has a permanent job which was erroneously given her; it was not her mistake. She just benefited from mistakes of the university management.”
Dr Nyanzi was confirmed in university service by the Appointments Board at its meeting of 28th October, 2013 on a five-year permanent contract.
Though Dr Nyanzi claims Makerere University is refunding her salary that was “illegally deducted” from her during the suspension, Kabasa said the university will only pay the money for the months after October 2016 when the suspension ended.
“We shall pay for the period beyond sixmonths. When a staff is serving a suspension, he or she receives half pay,” he said.