Scandal: Court orders Mbarara University Vice Chancellor to defend himself.
Court in Mbarara presided over by Justice Joyce Kavuma on Friday Feb 14,2020 dismissed the application which was filed in by the Mbarara University Top Management led by its chancellor Prof. Charles Olweny.
The case involves the university chancellor Prof. Charles L.M Olweny (chancellor), vice chancellor Prof. Obua Celestine and the University council chairperson Dr. Warren Namara for undergoing an illegal process of reappointing Prof Celestino Obua whose term of office ended in July 2019.
Prof Obua has been ordered to defend himself within seven days.
It all started on July 30, 2019 when the Mbarara University of science and technology (MUST) Academic Staff Association (MUSTASA) General secretary Mr. Julius Taremwa filed an application challenging the reappointment of the outgoing vice chancellor Prof Obua Celestine for next five years.
And on November 12, 2019, Justice Kavuma ruled in favor of the applicants that the matter stands and should go on for hearing.
However Habert Mukwatiriri counsel for the 2nd respondent (Celestino Obua) submitted that the applicant (Julius Taremwa) never had the locus to challenge the matter before court since he was not among the aggrieved candidates vying for the vice chancellor seat.
He further filed in an application challenging the ruling in high court.
Today morning Justice Joyce Kavuma through the Mbarara High Court Deputy registrar Mr. Amos Kwizera dismissed the application of letting the applicants not to leave court as they had earlier submitted.
“The respondents had filed in an application to leave court to appeal against the ruling for the preliminary application and in her judgment justice Joyce Kavuma has dismissed the application and directed them to submit their defense within seven days on the main case” said Kwizera
The applicant, Julius Taremwa says the defendants are in for delaying tactics but they are assured of justice at the end of the matter.
Counsel for the applicants Hamza Sekidde of Wamala & Co. Advocates, confirmed that today was a ruling in an application that was made by the applicants where they thought for court’s leave to appeal to the high court.
“That application was decided against them so they were dissatisfied and thought to appeal to a higher court but today court has ruled in our favor and dismissed their application. Court has also directed that they file submissions in the main application within seven days and it will set a date for a ruling in that application” Sekidde charged
He added that today’s ruling will sort them out to concentrate on the main case which was filed challenging the manner in which the current vice chancellor of Mbarara University of Science and Technology was put in office of the vice chancellor.
“Today’s ruling simply redirects our efforts and our next step to concentrate in the main application and determine the basic questions that were raised by Mr. Julius Taremwa where he is challenging the process and citing the university as having failed to comply with the basic and mandatory provisions of the law in regard to the way in which they were supposed to conduct the process of reinstating the office of the vice chancellor upon the expiry of the tenure of office of the previous vice chancellor” Sekidde said
He concludes that the ruling in the main case will decide as to whether the vice chancellor is in office lawfully or illegally and through dubious means as it was suggested by the applicant Mr. Julius Taremwa.
According to Taremwa, the application’s ruling indicates that the defendants have a case to answer in regards to the reappointment of the vice chancellor (Prof Celestino Obua whose term of office expired last year.
“In simple terms they have been told they are not going anywhere they have a case to answer. Remember they were playing delay tactics but they have been told this is not appealable you don’t have to appeal on this stay here and answer this case” explained Taremwa
Taremwa says that as staff members, they are not worried of the delayed matter but hope for justice since justice delayed is justice denied.
We tried to engage the defendant’s side but Anthony Wameri of Wameri & Co Advocate jumped into his car and drove away while University council chairperson Dr. Warren Namara kept looking on.