Recently, the President of Uganda ordered the Ministry of Education to reinstate Professor Balunywa as the Makerere University Business School Principal, a move that has been tainted with heavy contention and invited by mixed reactions from the public. The NRM government has been famed for its “rule by law” and not rule of law tendencies, the degree at which they bend the acceptable and established laws is alarming and here they are again with repeated statutory contravention.
The Compensations Act CAP 286 under section 12 makes compulsory the retirement of all officers on attaining 60 years. Sub section 2 of the same section bestows to the President the power to only order an officer to retire and as such the position of the law as regards reappointment of retired officers is clearly not in to the President. Mr Balunywa as per his passport was born on December 3rd, 1955 which makes him 62 years old and his reappointment by the President is therefore in violation of this provision.
Section 83 of the Universities and Other Tertiary Institutions Act of 2001 mandates the Education Service Commission to appoint Principals of Public Tertiary Institutions on the terms and conditions that are to be determined by the same commission. The same section further guarantees a 5 year term and also for reappointment. The power therefore doesn’t belong in the hands of the President.
Mr Balunywa as a Presidential appointment did not appear before Parliament for vetting as is required for all Presidential appointments. The appointment letter of Professor Balunywa from the office of the President to the Ministry of Education dated May 28th, 2018 lacks an expiration date, time is always of essence in performance of a contract with reference to the contractual jurisprudence case of Panesar v Popat.
The Ministry of Education and Uganda Law Society are hereby called upon to keep this matter on watch. I further demand that the Education Service Commission to advertise the post of Principal of Makerere Business School to allow others the opportunity vie for the prestigious position and to the President, a respect for the law.