Lawyer Male Mabirizi has petitioned the East African Court of Justice Challenging the decision by the Makerere University Vice-Chancellor Professor Barnabas Nawangwe to suspend a student Adonia Kizza.
Earlier this week, Kizza, a student from the College of Education and External Studies, Reagan Mulambago, and Beston Mutambi, were suspended by the University Vice Chancellor on allegations of organizing an illegal demonstration at the institution.
The students accused the university management of banning political parties, delays in the disbursement of government-sponsored students’ allowances, surcharges for late tuition payments, and the presence of military personnel within the University premises, among other concerns.
However, the protest was foiled by security personnel who had been deployed at the university.
According to Mabirizi, Nawangwe’s decision to suspend Kizza from the university for “Alleged involvement” in “acts of indiscipline together with other students”, without any hearing conducted was in clear contravention of Article 42 of the Uganda Constitution which provides that any person appearing before any administrative official or body has a right to be treated justly and fairly;
He further noted that the actions of Makerere University as a government institution are unlawful and infringe on the fundamental and operational principles of the East African Community such as good governance, adherence to the principles of democracy, the rule of law, accountability, transparency, social justice and the maintenance of universally accepted standards of human rights.
Mabirizi wants the East African Court of Justice to set aside Nawangwe’s decision to suspend Kizza from the university.
Mabirizi also wants awards such as general, aggravated, and exemplary damages awarded to him as the applicant or any other person or civic organization affected by the actions, decisions, and directives impugned in this Reference due to disturbance and anguish caused to him arising out of the decisions, directives, and orders complained against in this Reference.
He also wants to be awarded the costs of the Reference to the applicant. Awards an interest of 6% per annum on the general damages and costs awarded to the applicant from the time of filing this petition till payment in full.
The East African Court which is based in Arusha Tanzania has now given the Attorney General of Uganda who is the only respondent in this case, 45 days within which to file his defense against the actions of Makerere University for suspending Kiiza.
Meanwhile, the Vice Chancellor has already lifted the suspension of Mutambi and allowed Kizza and Mulambago to sit for their end-of-semester examinations as a final decision for their respective cases awaits.