Former Kyambogo Academic Registrar petitions High Court over recruitment

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By AMOS NGWOMOYA

The former Kyambogo University Academic Registrar, Dr Peter Okello has petitioned the High Court seeking fresh recruitment for the position of the Academic Registrar at the same institution.

Dr Okello’ s petition follows last month’s appointment of Dr Annie Begumisa as the new University Academic Registrar for a contract of five years.

Dr Begumisa is a former Academic Registrar of Makerere University Business School (Mubs).

According to the petition which was received by High Court on April 10, 201i8, a copy of which Daily Monitor has seen, Dr Okello contends that the process leading to the appointment of Dr Begumisa was tainted with illegality, procedural impropriety, irrationality and breach of legitimate expectation.

He further contends that as a result of numerous flaws in the recruitment of Dr Begumisa, he has, and is likely to continue suffering irreparable harm through violation of his fundamental right to equality and non-discrimination, humiliation, loss of reputation and loss of future salary, among others.

Dr Okello has been the Acting Academic Registrar for Kyambogo University for one year, following the expiry of the term of Rose Nabwire.
The job was first advertised on April 7, 2017 on the University website and in two local dailies, seeking for eligible candidate to fill up the position.

The University’s Appointment’s Board received and considered applications from 13 individuals. However, the Board only shortlisted Dr Okello and Dr Begumisa.
But during its 87th meeting held on July 5, 2017, according to his affidavit, submitted, the Appointments Board declined to interview him and Dr Begumisa and instead decided to externally re-advertise the vacancy.

However, Dr Okello argues that nowhere in the 2014 Human Resource Manual (as amended) is the Appointments Board obliged to shortlist more than two candidates before it can proceed to interview them.

He notes that the decision not to interview them was unjustifiably discriminatory since the same Board shortlisted and interviewed only one candidate for the position of Senior Legal officer, only one candidate for the position of senior Public Relations Officer and only two candidates for the position of Assistant secretary.

“…i was therefore left with the suspicion that perhaps the Appointments Board was interested in having the Academic Registrar vacancy filled by a particular person, but who it had not shortlisted after the first external advert had been published,” reads in part his affidavit.

He further alleges that the decision not to interview them was a disapproval of his qualifications and performance for the last 25 years at Kyambogo, adding that he was never appraised before the Appointments Board made the adverse observation.

In September 2017, the same position was re-advertised and the Appointments Board shortlisted four candidates from which Dr Begumisa was chosen over Dr Okello and others as the successful candidate.
But he contests the appointment of Dr Begumisa, saying that the Board didn’t follow the established procedures to recruit staff.

“…I therefore feel that the recruitment process that led to the appointment of Dr Begumisa as the substantive Academic Registrar is tantamount to breach of my legitimate expectation to be promoted to the highest position in my department in accordance with the established procedures and policies on recruitment and promotion of staff,” he says.

He further claims that at the age of 53 years, he is shy of retirement, adding that the contentious vacancy was his last opportunity to occupy the highest office before retirement.

Meanwhile, in other appointments, Prof Maria Musoke is the new Deputy Vice-chancellor in charge of Academic affairs while Prof Fabian Nabugomo is the new Deputy Vice-Chancellor in charge of Finance and Adminstration.

Prof Musoke is a former chief librarian at Makerere University while Prof Nabugomo previously served in the same position at Kyambogo University.

Monitor.co.ug

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