High Court Judge Lydia Mugambe has ordered Makerere University to compensate its former Researcher Dr. Stella Nyanzi with 120 million shillings as damages that resulted from her illegal suspension.
On March 31, 2017, the University suspended Dr. Stella Nyanzi on allegations of misconduct which she later appealed against in the Staff Appeal Tribunal.
The Board was ordered to reinstate her but it declined on grounds that her contract had expired and no evidence was produced to prove that it had been renewed, thereby resulting into this application.
In her ruling, Mugambe pointed out that it was wrong for the university to ignore the decision of its staff appeals tribunal yet it was put in place with a specified purpose.
“The Respondent’s officers had to work on this clarification objectively and in good faith. However, in the circumstances of this case, the Respondent officials appear to have acted in defiance of the Tribunal decision. This was irregular, irrational, and unreasonable,” Mugambe asserted.
The judge also informed the University administration that it’s not right for them to selectively implement the tribunal’s decision since its one of the institutional structures which were established to prevent impunity.
“I am satisfied that the Respondent’s continued contemptuous disregard of the Tribunal’s decision that has caused the Applicant embarrassment, inconvenience, and psychological torture for which she is entitled to general damages,” the judge ruled.
On top of the damages, court has issued an order compelling the University officers responsible to comply with their statutory duty to implement the decision of the Tribunal to the letter.
On the timelines set in the Tribunal decision, which have since lapsed, should be treated to take effect from the date of this decision.