A tribunal has trashed last year’s suspension of the chairperson of Makerere University Academic Staff Association (MUASA), Dr Deus Kamunyu Muhwezi, and declared that all his salary be repaid in full.
In a ruling issued on October 14, the university staff tribunal chaired by retired Justice Patrick Tabaro ruled that the university leadership led by Prof Barnabas Nawangwe did not follow the sections of the Employment Act and the university human resource manual in suspending Dr Kamunyu.
“The tribunal found out that by failure to disclose the particular policy or policies and relevant provisions or sections that were breached, the appellant was denied an opportunity to adequately prepare his defence thus violating the appellants right to a fair hearing, which is a principle of natural justice,” the ruling reads in part.
Dr Kamunyu was suspended last year for six months on half pay on allegations of his participation in an illegal strike, using an abusive language, committing acts or omissions that are prejudicial to the proper performance of duties or the university’s image and slander.
But Justice Tabaro said the charges for which Kamunyu was punished were ambiguous and vague.
“It is clear from the above provisions that the purpose of suspension is to allow an investigation against the accused employee before disciplinary proceedings are commenced against him or her. In this case, no investigation was carried out. The suspension of six months with half pay was imposed by the board on the appellant after the disciplinary proceedings had been concluded,” the tribunal ruled.
The tribunal directed the university management to immediately pay Kamunyu all the money that was deducted from his salary for the six months during the suspension