Mak Appointments Board Pinned for Denying Dismissed Staff Legal Representation

Arinaitwe was among the 45 staff who were dismissed for alleged insubordination and failure to perform the job assigned to him.
Makerere University, Main Building
Perez Arinaitwe, a former accountant in the Directorate of Finance at Makerere University has accused the University Appointments Board for denying him legal representation before effecting his dismissal.  

Arinaitwe was among the 45 staff who were dismissed for alleged insubordination and failure to perform the job assigned to him. 

In 2017 Augustine Tamale, the former University Bursar reported Arinaitwe for allegedly falsifying the attendance register in the Directorate of finance regarding his arrival time. 

Tamale also accused Arinaitwe of not doing work except during end of year stocktaking and being irregular on duty.

Arinaitwe protested the decision citing that his request for a two-week adjournment to appear with his lawyer was denied by the Appointments Board. He also protested the punishment imposed on him as harsh and excessive. 

In a letter November 26, 2018, addressed to the Director Human Resources, Arinaitwe acknowledged receipt of a charge sheet dated November 22, 2018, requiring him to appear before the Appointments Board on November 27, 2018. 

He, however, says that even when he sought an extension of two weeks to allow him prepare and file his defence, it was rejected. 

“I contacted my lawyer for legal advice, who unfortunately informed me he was out of Kampala for two weeks. I do therefore request to be rescheduled for the two weeks in order to get legal interpretation and appear with my lawyer before the committee since the matter involves legal issues,” Arinaitwe said in his November 26, 2018 letter to the Human Resources Director.  

Appearing before the Staff Appeals Tribunal on Thursday, Arinaitwe through his lawyer Isaac Ssemakadde of Center for Legal Aid said he was ready to proceed with the hearing.  

Makerere University, however, through its lawyer Joan Nakaliika sought for an adjournment of the case citing they did not have the signed minutes of the proceedings leading to Arinaitwe’s dismissal from the university service.  

But Counsel Ssemakadde objected to the adjournment terming it as “endless business of seeking adjournments by Makerere University.”    

He told the Tribunal that the Appeal was filed on January 4th 2019, with a clear request to make relevant disclosures available and that this was a long time given to the university to make the necessary materials available on time. 

“On the face of the appeal and the university’s reply, it is clear that the proceedings of the disciplinary hearing of the Appointments Board were conducted ex parte after the appellant.

Arinaitwe had acknowledged service of summons and allegedly failed to appear and explain himself before the Board,” Ssemakadde said. 

Ssemakadde added that; “Since receipt of summons by the appellant is an uncontested fact and it is intended to argue the appeal squarely on a point of law, the adjournment sought to produce minutes of a disciplinary meeting in which the appellant did not participate is unnecessary.

George Omunyokol, the tribunal chairperson ordered the University to produce the minutes irrespective of whether they were signed or not within four hours. 

When the tribunal resumed, Makerere University lawyer Mavis Kansime said they didn’t have the minutes.

The case was adjourned to Tuesday, March 19, 2019, and the university was asked to file the minutes by Monday without fail.