Makerere ordered to pay Shs 200m to sacked ICT director

BY: Eyalama In Business On

Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) Industrial court has ordered Makerere University to pay Shs 208.9 million to Eng Frank Kitumba, the former director directorate for ICT support (DICTS) over unlawful termination of contract.

Ruth Kulabako Namaarwa, the labour officer KCCA, Kawempe Division ruled that Makerere should comply with the directive by December 31, 2019. The payment arises out of the August 7, 2019 application where Kitumba challenged breach of contract and the unlawful termination by the university.

He argued that the termination of his contract was unjustified, unfair and unlawful. He also sought the labour officer to cause for compensation arising out of the same, payment of his salary arrears for science money; non-deduction of utility bills from his entitlements, a cease and desist order from being evicted by the university until full payment of his terminal benefits as well as payment of transport back to his home and costs.

Eng-Frank-Kitumba-property-thrown-out

In her ruling, Kulabako said the former director ICT is entitled to two months’ pay in lieu notice equivalent to Shs 18.9m, five months’ pay as severance allowance amounting to Shs 47.3m, one month’s pay as basic compensatory order equivalent to Shs 9.4m and another Shs 9.4m as one month’s pay as additional compensation.

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Kitumba was awarded salary arrears (science money) amounting to Shs 90.4m and an accrued gratuity of Shs 33.2m. The labour officer declined to grant payment for additional pay and its accrued gratuity of Shs 49.9m citing they were not well substantiated by Litumba.

The labour office also declined and referred special, punitive and aggravated damages claimed by Kitumba to the Industrial court for determination citing her office has no jurisdiction to award the same.

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Kitumba was employed by Makerere as a director Directorate of Information and Communication Technology Support (DICTS) on a five-year contract effective December 1, 2012. His contract was subject to renewal upon satisfactory performance following an appraisal.

But upon expiry of contract, Kitumba was given an extension for three months, and then two months until April 30, 2018, without a performance appraisal conducted by the institution.

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This aggrieved Kitumba who claims to have legitimately expected employment following a fair, regular, and prompt appraisal leading to a renewal of his employment contract due to his satisfactory performance which was in effect not done.

In 2010/2011 financial year, government enhanced the salaries for science teachers in all public universities by 30 per cent leaving out the university staff in the DICTS unit, which prompted a complaint to the ministry of Public Service.

The permanent secretary clarified to the university secretary that the officers deployed to handle computer technology-related jobs are considered scientists and hence paid in a science scale.

Effective January 2017, Makerere University complied and enhanced their salaries but Kitumba further demanded in vain for science money arrears for all the years since government had sent the said money to the university as well as its accrued gratuity.

Makerere in response refused to renew Kitumba’s contract and ordered him to vacate its house, which he refused. According to Makerere, renewal of Kitumba’s contract was not automatic and that they reserved a right not to renew the same and were not barred from advertising the position, appointing a suited person and that when Kitumba applied, he was unsuccessful.

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