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Court Orders Makerere University to Pay UGX 208m to Former ICT Director

The payment arises out of the August 7, 2019 application where he challenged breach of contract and the unlawful termination by the university.
20 Dec 2019 11:57
Eng. Frank Kitumba (in set) with his properties outside his university residence following is forceful eviction on Friday
Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) Industrial court has ordered payment of 208.9 million shillings to Eng. Frank Kitumba, the former director directorate for ICT support (DICTS) in Makerere University.  

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 he 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.  

In her ruling, the labour officer 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.  

Eng. 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 an 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 Eng. Kitumba to the Industrial Court for determination citing her office has no jurisdiction to award the same.     

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

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

This aggrieved Eng. Kitumba who claims to have legitimately expected employment following a fair, regular, and prompt appraisal leading to 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% 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 Eng. 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 Eng. Kitumba’s contract and ordered him to vacate its house, which he refused.

According to Makerere, renewal of Eng. 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 Eng. Kitumba applied, he was unsuccessful.