Kampala — The High Court in Kampala has blocked the suspension of Makerere University Secretary, Dr Charles Barugahare, until the case challenging his forced leave is finalised.
Court also blocked the appointment of Mr Yusuf Kiranda, Dr Barugahare's deputy, as the substantive university secretary.
"An order of injunction doth issue retraining the respondents from continuing to impose disciplinary measures and/or forcing the applicant on compulsory leave as threatening in the second respondent's letter dated June 29 removing him from his job and duties of the university secretary or the 3rd respondent assuming those duties until disposal of the main application for judicial review," the court order reads in part.
The order was served to the university on Friday.
The vice chancellor, Prof Barnabas Nawangwe, sent Dr Barugahare on a three-month forced leave on June 29. He had returned from a one-year study leave and was expected to resume his duties on July 1 .
On June 30, Dr Barugahare filed a suit against the university, Prof Nawangwe, Mr Kiranda and the Attorney General as respondents. He said respondents targeted him to illegally give away his job and duties to his deputy without giving him a fair hearing.
Dr Barugahare said the university wrote to the Secretary to the Treasury to strip him of his role as accounting officer of the university. He said the Secretary to the Treasury subsequently removed him as accounting officer and appointed Mr Kiranda to take his job.
"How can someone be given a compulsory leave on June 29 when appointment to replace him was on June 8? This means I was replaced before I was even suspended," he adds.
According to the two subsequent letters Daily Monitor has seen, a letter from the Secretary to the Treasury's office approved the appointment of Mr Kiranda as the University Secretary for the Financial Year 2020/2021 on June 8. In another letter dated June 28, Mr Kiranda accepted the appointment.
Dr Barugahare's contract was slated to elapse on November 2.
Prof Nawangwe on June 29 sent Dr Barugahare on forced leave to pave way for investigations in several allegations, which included the controversial procurement of gowns for the university's 70th graduation ceremony.
The university was plunged into a crisis in January when a week before the graduation ceremonies between January 14 and 17, they could not give out graduation gowns to more than 13,000 graduating students.
Team Uniform, the company that was contracted to supply the gowns at that time, said they were withholding the gowns because the university had not cleared the balance for the previous supplies in the past years. The company only supplied gowns two days to the graduation after the university paid some money to clear the gowns.
However on June 29, Prof Nawangwe wrote, saying Dr Barugahare was partially to blame for the mess. He also accused Dr Barugahare of failure to install an audit software whose funds were acquired by him in 2015.
In his suit, Dr Barugahare denies any role in the procurement of the gowns. He counter-accused Prof Nawangwe of framing him on all the allegations in order to get him out of office to achieve his scheme.