New Vision (Kampala)

Uganda: Court Orders Kyambogo Boss to Stay Away

The High Court in Kampala has ordered Kyambogo University vice chancellor Prof.Isaiah Ndiege to stay away from the university premises, pending the outcome of the main case he filed challenging the decision to sack him.

On Monday, Justice Benjamin Kabiito ordered Ndiege to remain on leave until court makes its finding on whether the university council acted reasonably when it recommended his sacking.

Ndiege, who was supposed to return to office Tuesday, will have to wait longer than he previously anticipated. He has been on leave since the end of August. Hearing of the main case is scheduled for December 18.

The judge dismissed Ndiege's plea to temporarily halt the university management from effecting the sacking. He however explained that there were serious issues raised by Ndiege that need to be scrutinised by court.

"I order for the preservation of the status quo, and order that the applicant (Ndiege) remain on leave," the judge said, further ordering the university council to effect the instrument extending Ndiege's leave.

On November 6 Ndiege filed application for judicial review, contending that his dismissal was baseless since a probe report into mismanagement at the institution, cleared him.

Judicial review is conducted by the High Court to scrutinise proceedings plus decisions taken by subordinate courts, inferior tribunals or Government bodies.

The Kenyan national appointed on December 4, 2008 asserts that his appointment was to curb rampant corruption, and incompetence among administrators at the institution.

He asserts that as part of his mandate, he implemented his policy on zero tolerance to corruption by closing the channels through which resources were squandered.

Prior during submissions, Ndiege's lawyer Sunday Akile submitted that the university was posturing by claiming to act in public interest. He wondered why there was no affidavit from a member of the public to show dissatisfaction with the affairs at the institution.

But in their submissions, the university lawyers Steven Mubiru-Kalinge and Sarah Kisubi, said granting Ndiege a temporary injunction would result in an unmitigated disaster. He argued that Ndiege was panicking, saying the university council had actually not dismissed Ndiege but only made a recommendation that they forwarded to the appointments board and the chancellor.

Mubiru-Kalinge said Ndiege's fate is yet to be decided, and that the university acted in public interest. He noted staff had complained that Ndiege was rude, and that in the event that they went on strike, students would lose resourceful time that would never be adequately compensated.

Speaking outside court shortly after the ruling, Akile said he would consult with Ndiege on strategies to battle for the main case. Ndiege said he would wait and argue the main case.

Mubiru-Kalenge expressed satisfaction with the ruling, saying he was ready to defend the university council's decision to recommend Ndiege's sacking.

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