May 18, 2020

Islamic University sends staff packing as COVID-19 pandemic ‘flogs’ institution


Mbale -The Novel Coronavirus pandemic has shaken every sector of the country subsequent to the lockdown with the latest victim being Islamic University in Uganda.

Reports indicate Mbale based University has indefinitely suspended all employment contracts due to COVID-19 pandemic effects.

Most of the lecturers revealed their contracts had been cancelled indefinitely and that they are worried about their fate if the situation continues the way it is in Uganda and across the World.

A letter dated May 14, 2020, from Mr Hussein Lukyamuzi, the University secretary says that due to the Covid 19 pandemic, the University has found itself unable to continue paying staff salaries and meet other financial obligations, because of the sudden and unplanned early closure of the University.

“Consequently, I am authorized to inform you that it has been decided that employment contracts for all Islamic University In Uganda staff be suspended indefinitely as from 1 June, 2020 until the University re-opens and is able to resume paying salaries,” reads the letter signed by Mr Lukyamuzi, the University Secretary.

Mr Lukyamuzi says in his letter headed “ Suspension of employment contracts due to Covid 19 Pandemic effects” that a few staff will however be asked to remain working on terms agreed upon and such staff will be informed officially by the University secretary before the 31 of May, 2020.

“Further, I am also sending you the letter signed by the chairman of the university council and Rector of the university informing you of the suspension of all employment contracts,” reads the letter further.

The letter says that all staff meantime will be paid salaries for up to the end of May 2020 and that all staff will be free to resume their duties when the University opens after Covid 19.

“We appeal for the cooperation and continued understanding of staff, as we all try to go through these difficult times caused by Covid 19 pandemic, May Allah bless and protect all of us,” concludes the letter copied to all staff at the Mbale based Islamic University.

When contacted for a comment the University Public Relations Officer Ms Rehema Kantono consented the letter was authentic but quickly added that it is meant for staff whose contracts have expired.

“Yes the letter is authentic but for the staff whose contracts have expired and for all staff with running contracts, these have job security as their contracts will be resumed automatically after the lock down,” said Ms Kantono.

She explained that for those whose contracts had expired and had applied for renewal, their contracts are pending the seating of the appointments committee after the lock down.

This comes at the time tourists cancellations have reached 100 per cent due to the pandemic and various hotels have turned into white elephants, making back-to-back losses.

After the government confirmed 14 Corona virus cases, the situation went from bad to worse, forcing investors to ask thousands of employees to go home.

Currently, the tourism industry in Uganda is experiencing severe financial uncertainty with the cancellation of accommodation, tours, meetings, and conferences originally scheduled to be hosted.

Although recently, the State minister for Labour Mr Mwesigwa Rukutana announced a number of measures which must be observed while attempting to lay off staff, the current situation presents a complex crisis