KAMPALA – Kampala high court Civil Division Judge, Justice Henrietta Waloyo has on August 27, transferred the case involving the MUST staff against three top university administrators to Mbarara high court.
Mbarara University of Science and Technology staff through their MUSTASA Secretary-General, Julius Taremwa had on July 30, 2019, filed an application to quash the reappointment of outgoing VC Prof Obua Celestine for the next five years.
The case was filed at Kampala high court civil division under misc. Cause No 224 of 2019 suing Prof. Charles L.M Olweny (chancellor), Prof. Obua Celestine (Vice-chancellor) and the University council of Mbarara University of Science and Technology led by Dr. Warren Namara seeking court to quash the reappointment of second respondent by the first respondent.
In their application, they argued that Prof. Olweny to reappoint Prof. Obua for the next five years without a recommendation by council was null and void and that it should be reversed.
Transferring the case to Mbarara on Tuesday, August 27, 2019, came after Justice Waloyo tried to fix the date for hearing but all counsels for applicant and respondents remained saying they will be having court cases in Mbarara.
She had given Sam Habert Mukwatiriri and Timothy Mugumya counsels for Prof. Obua, Prof.Olweny and Chairman Counsel Warren Namara respectively two weeks to have filed their responses but all kept saying they will be having court cases in Mbarara.
“Why can’t this case be heard from Mbarara? After all I see it’s a Mbarara case because all of you are saying you will be in Mbarara, why did you file it here not in Mbarara?. Justice Waloyo asked.
In response, “My lord when you look at all the respondents, Prof. Olweny and chairman counsel including their lawyers are all residents of Kampala, so for cost-effectiveness, we thought it would be easy for us to have this matter worked on quickly than Mbarara” Answered Anthony Wameri counsel for applicant.
This was not objected by counsel for respondents who also supported that this matter should be heard from Kampala not Mbarara since they are residents including their clients.
Later justice Waloyo ruled that the matter should be transferred and be handled in Mbarara high court.
In an interview, Anthony Wameri of Wameri&Co Advocates said the move to transfer their case to Mbarara will not affect the case. “This will actually give us an advantage since we shall be ‘home’ however this court also has the jurisdiction powers to hear this matter. What we shall do is now to get the day when it will be fixed for hearing.
One of the Counsels for respondents Timothy Mugumya, when approached for a comment, refused to talk to us. Prof. Olweny and Prof. Obua didn’t attend the court session but were represented by their lawyers.