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Makerere appointments board revises Kamunyu’s suspension

Dr  Deus Kamunyu (R) has been suspended

Dr Deus Kamunyu (R) has been suspended

The Makerere University appointments board has revised its ruling against the Makerere Academic Staff Association (MUASA) chairperson Dr Deus Kamunyu Muhwezi.

While the board’s initial ruling on Monday was to suspend Kamunyu for six months without pay, the revised ruling considers half pay for the staff leader. This comes ahead of an emergency joint general assembly scheduled for Friday May 17 in the university Main Hall in which the staff say they will discuss the suspension of the MUASA leader.    

Kamunyu was suspended in a May 13th ruling by the Jude Mbabali-led board after it found him guilty of non-adherence to university policies contrary to Section 5.7 (22) of the Makerere University human resources manual as amended.  

During the trial, prosecution according to the ruling, adduced evidence to show that the conduct of Dr Kamunyu exhibited a high sense of disregard of the policies of his employer.  

Among the witnesses were Eng Dr Charles Wana Etyem, the former chairman of the university council, the deputy vice-chancellor in charge of finance and administration Prof William Bazeyo, Gordon Murangira, Prof Barnabas Nawangwe the current vice chancellor’s personal assistant and a series of warning letters issued by Nawangwe and responses by the staff association.  

Kamunyu had, according to Etyem’s testimony, complained about the then chairperson of the appointments board Bruce Balaba Kabasa that he was receiving bribes to award jobs but had no evidence. 

Eng Etyem also disclosed before the board that he had warned Kamunyu against making allegations without proof but subsequent to that, he, under MUASA continued agitating on the same issues by writing sensitive letters to the minister of Education and emails to management and other staff members as well as holding media interviews over the said unsubstantiated allegations, despite written warnings from the vice chancellor.  

It is also noted that during the hearing and submissions, all the evidence adduced by the prosecution on count four was disproved which in the interpretation of the board his entire conduct was “in bad faith and unbecoming.”  

Prosecution had prayed to the board that if Kamunyu was found guilty, he should be dismissed from the university service so that a similar conduct is not repeated by other university staff in future.    

However, the board decided to use its discretionary powers under Section 5.8 of the Makerere human resources manual to instead of dismissal to sentence him to six months on half pay. During Kamunyu’s suspension, Kamunyu is barred from accessing his office as a lecturer at Makerere University.    

Sources among staff also say they seek to further negotiate with the board to consider the time Kamunyu has been on trial as part of the punishment so that he serves only three months suspension.

While Kamunyu has previously disclosed that his suspension as a bad precedent for staff association leaders, other staff say the university managers want to continue gagging the association.


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