Ex- workers of defunct UEB sue liquidator over terminal benefits

Ex- workers of defunct UEB sue liquidator over terminal benefits
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Former employees of the defunct Uganda Electricity Board (UEB) have sued the Uganda Registration Services Bureau (URSB) seeking for terminal benefits.

URSB is the official liquidator of UEB which is still in liquidation according to the court documents.

A total of 1117 former workers of UEB  are seeking  recovery of their reparation allowance, damages and legal costs incurred and interest therein.

Court documents show that a total of 1117 former employees of UEB were laid off following the government parastatals restructuring programmes between 1998 – 2001.

Through their lawyers of Ms Okurut and Company Advocates, the group claims that upon termination of their services, they were to be paid terminal benefits together with a transport allowance of Shs600,000 for junior staff and Shs1,000,000 for senior staff.

Led by one Julius Silver Onyait, the complainants allege that at the time of termination, the complainants were promised that the money would be deposited into their account together with terminal benefits within a period of four weeks.

“However, the plaintiffs were surprised to receive their terminal benefits without payment of their transport allowance which was contrary to the communications and promises they had earlier on received,” reads the court document adding that the final payment to the claimants and the 715 others by the liquidator was minus the transport allowance that was rightly due to the them but it was unreasonably withheld.

It is alleged that the claimants only discovered in 2016 that the liquidator had actually not paid them their transport allowance which money was given to them by the government but efforts through their advocates were futile as the liquidator refused to pay them.

“The plaintiffs have tried but in vain to demand for the payment of their transport allowance since then to date but the liquidator who took over as liquidator for UEB in 2006 has continued to deny them the payment with full knowledge that they were not paid despite receiving the same from the government.

The former employees contend that the actions of the liquidator in misappropriating their transport allowance and concealing any information regarding their payments to all the former UEB workers amount to fraud.

They are now seeking for an order that the accused party pays transport allowance to all the former employees of UEB not paid together with the complainants retrenched between 1998 – 2001, damages, punitive damages and legal costs incurred.

However, the official liquidator (UEB) denies any wrongdoing saying that it shall raise a preliminary objection to the effect that the complainants are by law prohibited from bring a fresh case in respect of the same facts which were previously dismissed by the same for want of prosecution.

The defendant contends that the former workers are seeking for reliefs that are substantially similar to those which were dismissed in a 2016 case and no further steps have been taken to prosecute an appeal.

“The present suit is an abuse of court process, misconceived, cannot be maintained against the defendant (Liquidator) and ought to be dismissed with costs,” reads the court document.

Meanwhile the case awaits hearing and determination before the High Court.

The case comes after the High Court dismissed with costs the case in which Onyait Julius Silver on behalf of 877 others sued the official liquidator of UEB jointly lawyer Peter Kimanje Nsibambi.

Justice Musa Ssekaana of the Civil Division of the High Court dismissed the case.

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