Warning: Trying to access array offset on value of type bool in /usr/www/users/urnnet/a/story.php on line 43
Dispute Between Uganda Airlines, Former CEO Referred to Industrial Court :: Uganda Radionetwork
Breaking

Dispute Between Uganda Airlines, Former CEO Referred to Industrial Court

Muhumuza however, says that a substantial question of the law or fact arose in the proceedings, which his office can’t resolve. Muhumuza notes that Muleya worked as CEO of Uganda Airlines and was sent on forced leave by the Chairperson Board of Directors on allegations of several mismanagement issues.
Letter referring labour dispute to Industrial Court
The Wakiso Labor office has referred the dispute between Uganda Airlines and its former Chief Executive Officer- Cornwell Muleya to the Industrial Court citing a substantial question of law that arose from the proceedings. 

In his May 11, 2022 letter to the Industrial Court, Celestine Muhumuza, a senior Labour office in the Labour Ministry notes that he invited the two parties for a mediation meeting on April 12th, 2022 with the view to an amicable settlement of Muleya’s complaint of unlawful dismissal.

He, however, notes that Uganda Airlines deliberately refused to show up even when he made it clear that their failure to comply would prompt him to refer the dispute to the Industrial Court for handling. He explains that the initial meeting didn’t take place, prompting him to schedule another one for May 2, 2022, in vain. 

Muhumuza however, says that a substantial question of the law or fact arose in the proceedings, which his office can’t resolve. Muhumuza notes that Muleya worked as CEO of Uganda Airlines and was sent on forced leave by the Chairperson Board of Directors on allegations of several mismanagement issues. 

"However it is alleged that he was not given the opportunity to defend himself on the allegations put against him,” reads the letter. It is on this ground that he "desires the court to determine and dispose of the dispute." Muleya lodged his complaint reference number LD.07.04.22 under Employment Act 2006 at the Wakiso Labour office on April 4, 2022.  It came after the government terminated his contract as the CEO of Uganda Airlines in mid-February this year. Muleya's woes started on April 21st, 2021 after Works Minister Edward Katumba Wamala sent him and 12 other top officials on forced leave. 

The minister eventually suspended the officials on the orders of President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni to pave way for investigations into allegations of financial mismanagement, collusion, and nepotism in staff recruitment among other issues. Muleya served as CEO from 2019 to May last year.

  He now wants the government to reinstate him or pay him over Shillings 3.5 billion in terminal benefits. Through his lawyers, Muwema and Co. Advocates, Muleya accuses the government of unlawfully suspending and later terminating his employment contract.

On March 28, the law fim wrote to Waiswa Bageya, the chairman of the interim board chairman of Uganda Airlines and Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Works protesting Muleya's dismissal. Muleya claims that the interim board issued him a notice to terminate his contract on February 15, 2022, in disregard of the due process.

His lawyers say Bageya who authored the notice to terminate Muleya's contract, did not disclose the reasons for the decision. "His contract of employment did not have a termination clause and Muleya was also "never heard in any disciplinary proceedings,” reads the letter.

Adding that "the purported suspension and termination of our client's services as the Chief Executive Officer of UNACL was done contrary to all due process and the law. It presents a case of witch-hunt wrought with malice and it reeks of irregularities."

The law firm warned of legal action should the government fail to reinstate Muleya as CEO. They also indicated that they would be seeking the terminal benefits for their client amounting to Shillings 3,545, 186,318.  This includes salary arrears of Shillings 126 million for February 2022, Shillings one billion for reputation damages and Shillings 1.2 billion for loss of expectation interest in employment among other claims.

The board accused Muleya of alleged failure to supervise and curb corruption of staff under his watch, delayed operation of the Airbus A330-800Neo and the self-handling project, gross procurement malpractice, financial mismanagement, and unethical human resource practices in recruitment. In March 2022, Attorney General, Kiryowa Kiwanuka responded to Muwema’s letter to the interim board chairman and dared him to go ahead and sue the government.