High Court in Kampala orders Makerere University to pay (UGX 120 million) and reinstate Dr Stella Nyanzi.
The High Court in Kampala has ordered Makerere University to pay 120 million shillings to Dr Stella Nyanzi for refusal to return her as a research fellow.
Makerere University suspended Stella Nyanzi in 2017 on accounts of attacking the Minister of Education and Sports Janet Museveni. The Vice-chancellor suspended Nyanzi on orders of board chairman Bruce Balaba Kabaasa.
The Staff Tribunal later ordered the University to bring her back as a research fellow at the Makerere Institute of Social Research but refused which made the controversial Doctor drag the University to court.
On Thursday the High Court judge Lydia Mugambe ruled that it was wrong for the university not to reinstate her as a research fellow.
“It can easily be inferred that after failing to get their desire to end from the tribunal process, the Respondent officers resorted to finding ways of circumventing it. In this case, the respondent officials appear to have acted in defiance of the tribunal decision. This was irregular, irrational and unreasonable,” the judge said.
The judge also added that the importance of a tribunal to an institution like Makerere University gives a forum to staff members to challenge the decision of their employers before a body that is impartial within the structure of the university.
Lydia Mugambe said that a tribunal is also important in protecting the employer and that the right of appeal is a cardinal tenet for the principles of fairness and justice.
“It is, therefore, wrong for the respondent which set up the appeals tribunal for this purpose to be the one that disregards or circumvents the tribunal’s decision of its Staff Appeals tribunal. It is not within its powers to cherry-pick which ones it implements and which one it circumvents,” the judge added.
“I am satisfied that the respondents’ continued contemptuous disregard of the tribunal decision has caused the applicant embarrassment, inconvenience and physiological torture for which she is entitled to general damages,” justice Lydia said.
The courts then ruled that Makerere University was supposed to and learn to comply with the constitutional duty of implementing the decision to set up a tribunal.
The court directed the Makerere University to pay shs 120 million to Dr Stella Nyazi in the general damages and a ten per cent interest rate per year from the date of ruling until payment in full.