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New Vision
Uganda: Makerere HIV Vaccine Project Sued
<p>Andante Okanya</p>
August 12, 2013

A senior data entry specialist has dragged the Makerere University HIV vaccine project - the Makerere University Walter Reed Project - to court for wrongful dismissal.

According to documents filed on August 2 at the High Court in Kampala, Jacqueline Kemirembe, who was dismissed from the project on April 13, is demanding sh100m.

She had worked with the project for nine years as a permanent employee.

The project was founded in 2002 for HIV vaccine development and building of vaccine testing capability in Uganda.

It is one of the five international research sites set up by the American Department of Defence United States HIV Research Programme.

Kemirembe alleges that on January 2 this year, the management of the project arbitrarily changed the employment terms.

She states that she was given a full-time position based on a two-year contract that started on January 1 and was to run up to December 31 next year. Through KSMO Advocates, Kemirembe is also demanding damages for breach of contract, interest and costs of the suit.

Kemirembe states that in February, she raised her complaint with management, but its stance of January 2 was maintained. She says she was intimidated.

Documents further show that Kemirembe was given an ultimatum of up to March 1 when she was asked to sign the contract offered to her.

She states that she refused to sign the contract, which compelled the management to dismiss her.

Kemirembe is aggrieved because she was dismissed on grounds that were in breach of the project's human resource policy.

The case has been allocated to Justice Benjamin Kabiito.



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