Kampala. Outspoken Makerere University research fellow Dr Stella Nyanzi was all chest-thumping yesterday after the Staff Appeals Tribunal lifted her indefinite suspension.
Dr Nyanzi was indefinitely suspended last year for allegedly insulting First Lady Janet Museveni, who is also the Education and sports minister.
But the tribunal yesterday ruled that the indefinite suspension to which Makerere subjected Dr Nyanzi was illegal and contravened Sections 63(2) of the Employment Act, 2006. Section 63(2) demands that any suspension under sub-section (1) shall not exceed four weeks or the duration of the inquiry.
The tribunal faulted the university’s appointments board for breaching the law and gross failure to conduct its statutory duty since Dr Nyanzi has been on suspension for more than a year.
“The suspension of the appellant (Dr Nyanzi) as initiated in the said letter dated 31st March, 2017 from [Makerere University] the respondent’s director, human resources is hereby set aside with immediate effect,” the ruling read.
Upon receiving the news, Dr Nyanzi took to her Facebook page with a celebratory tone, likening her triumph to that of David after slaying Goliath.
“Wuuuuuululululu! we won, my people, we won. Makerere University Staff Appeals Tribunal judged in my favour a few minutes ago. I celebrate my brilliant lawyer, brother, friend and comrade – Isaac Ssemakadde – for a tough legal battle won… I feel like David after slaying Goliath,” Dr Nyanzi wrote.
The tribunal also gave her remedies, including issuing an order to the university to pay her all her emoluments and all the money that was withheld because of her then suspension.
The appeals tribunal also instructed the university to conduct any pending disciplinary actions within 30 days.