The tribunal ruling states that Dr. Nyanzi’s suspension was done through an illegal procedure. The University is therefore tasked to pay the doctor outstanding emoluments within ten working days after the order.
On March 31, 2017, with an order from the appointments board chairman, Bruce Balaba Kabaasa, the then vice chancellor Prof John Ddumba-Ssentamu gave Nyanzi an indefinite suspension on allegations of attacking the First Lady and Education minister Janet Museveni on Facebook.
The tribunal chairperson, George Omunyokol, blamed the appointments board for abrogating the statutory rules by not conducting Nyanzi’s disciplinary hearings within four weeks after suspension.
It further observed that the letter seeking the researcher’s suspension had not detailed aspects of dehumanization that the accused had allegedly uttered.
Omunyokol urged the disciplinary committee to convene disciplinary hearings on the issue within ten working days to provide a disciplinary report on Nyanzi.
“The tribunal has in very strong terms stated that it’s the supreme authority in all matters of labour and employment at Makerere University. The university put up a very strong set of objections for this case not to go forward, but they have all been dismissed by the university staff tribunal. And we’re overjoyed to learn that the staff tribunal has been sensitive to the requirements of justice in crafting remedies that are appropriate for Dr Stella Nyanzi. We’re exceedingly impressed by the clarity of jurisprudence, the impartiality and boldness displayed today by the members of the university staff tribunal.” Ssemakadde said.
In her vote of thanks to the tribunal and the entire public, Stella Nyanzi said “the university staff tribunal has proved itself that there’s a remnant of academics of legal minds that understand the importance of protecting the sacred grounds of the university.”
“If the university will not allow its scholars to critic those that abuse power, those that centralize the abuse of power, then we can as well pack up Uganda, there is no reason to have any thinkers in Uganda if the university can do this,
“For those of us who are thinkers and value the right to think and express our thoughts – whichever way, whichever way this for me is a major win…For me this is historical, we’re changing the law of employment, labour rights in Uganda because the abuse had penetrated to the very core of the heart that think for and about Uganda.” Nyanzi stated.