Justice John Patrick Mashongo Tabaro has on Monday 12th August 2019 assumed responsibility as the new Chairperson of Makerere University Staff Appeals Tribunal.
Tabaro was welcomed by the Chairperson of Makerere University Council Mrs. Lorna Magara on an event that took place on Friday 9th August 2019.
The event was attended by representatives from Makerere University Academic Staff Association (MUASA), Makerere University Administrative Staff Association (MASA), National Union of Educational Institutions (NUEI) and members of Makerere University Public Relations office.
Justice Tabaro who is in his retirement as the high court judge was appointed by the Chancellor Prof. Ezra Suruma for a four-year term (May 15th 2019-15th May 2023).
Justice Tabaro’s appointment is in line with section 56(1) (a) of the Universities and Other Tertiary Institutions Act (UOTIA), 2001 as amended. Tabaro takes over office from Mr. George Omunyokol whose term ended on 20th March 2019.
In his speech after being appointed, Justice Tabaro paid tribute to the outgoing Chairperson Mr. George Omunyokol and to Mr. Didas Nkurunziza who chaired the pioneer tribunal. He also promised to deliver with justice during his terms in office.
“It is difficult enough to judge the general public, but it is also problematic when the top intellectuals are the litigants and the onerous task to resolve the disputes falls upon unfortunate mortals like me or to my two predecessors. Today, we are talking of about 36000 students hence we should assume that issues that arise here on campus concerning students, academic staff, administration and support staff are enormous. However, that is not to say that we should fold our arms in despair or lamentation,” he said.
“It is only axiomatic that if the tribunal acts impartially transparently without fear or favor, the whole university community will be the beneficiary as this will create a peaceful atmosphere, conducive to the generation of knowledge for the good of Uganda and the benefit of the whole university community and future alumni,” he added.
Meanwhile, the Chairperson of Makerere University Council Mrs. Magara congratulated Justice Tabaro upon his appointment also emphasized the role of a tribunal in a society.
“As a tribunal, you have the mandate to hear and decide disputes and bind disputants. It goes without contestation that tribunals are very important part of the legal system where the rule of law and human rights are upheld”, she said.
Other three members of the new Tribunal also were also sworn in on Friday.They include; Prof. Ben Kiromba Twinomugisha -Representative of University Senate, Dr. Phiona Muhwezi Mpanga- Representative of MUASA, and Dr. Ronald Kakungulu-Mayambala-Representative MUASA.
Justice John Patrick Mashongo Tabaro served in the Judiciary for over 36 years. He started as Magistrate in 1976; rising through the ranks to become a Constitutional Court Judge, Acting Principal Judge among other roles.