Uganda: It Was Wrong to Send CAA Boss On Forced Leave – Court

The High Court in Kampala has ruled that it was wrong for former Minister of State for Works and Transport Joy Kabatsi to send then director of Human Resource and Administration at the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) on forced leave.

Mr Pascal Osinde Osudo Jabbe, the human resource director, was sent on forced leave of six months on May 29, 2020 to pave way for investigations on grounds that he had been involved in in-fighting which tainted the image of CAA and also affected its productivity.

However, Justice Musa Ssekaana in his July 15 decision, said at the time the CAA did not have a fully constituted board of directors which made Ms Kabatsi decision wrong.

“A declaratory order that the decision of the minister requesting the applicant (Mr Jabbe) to go on forced leave on May 29, 2020 in the absence of the board was unlawful. The application is allowed in those terms and I make no order to costs,” he added.

Court documents show that the decision to send Mr Jabbe on forced leave follows a meeting on May 15, 2020 that was called to discuss measures to combat Covid-19 and issues to do with mid-level managers.

The agenda moved in the meeting discussed minutes of the previous meeting to which Mr Jabbe had no clue or copy.

Court documents show that at the time of sending Mr Jabbe on forced leave, the board’s tenure had expired on April 30, 2020 and that the minister decided in exercise of the ministry supervisory role, to guide that a thorough investigation be undertaken by a competent government institution.

The documents also show that ordinarily, the board of directors of CAA is mandated to deal with all issues relating to the management of the institution, including recruitment and affairs of senior management.

Justice Ssekaana further in his ruling declined to issue an order reinstating Mr Jabbe to his job on grounds that the same matter of his employment had been decided by another court.

“The applicant’s employment was terminated in other court proceedings where his appointment was challenged… … . This court cannot give any orders affecting his employment since he is no longer in the same employment,” he ruled.

Mr Joseph Okwalinga, the legal manager of CAA, had in his affidavit argued that Mr Jabbe’s employment was not in contention in this particular matter since he had been terminated by an order of court, hence there was no dispute over his job.

The board had terminated Mr Jabbe’s employment with effect from August 17, 2020 in compliance with an earlier court order.


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Author : Monitor

Publish date : 2021-07-17 11:33:19

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