By Spy Uganda
Kampala: DFCU Bank has again been dragged to court this time not by clients but their Ex-employees adopted from the Crane Bank, who allege that the bank has mistreated and traumatized them both physically and psychologically amidst all sorts of injustices and violations of their human rights.
To switch you back a while, Bank of Uganda on October 20, 2016, summerily closed Crane Bank Ltd, previously one of the best performing banks and fraudulently sold it at Shs200 billion to DFCU Bank on a tap of a phone call.
BoU has since come under spotlight and its dirt exposed after the closure of seven commercial banks of which Crane Bank Ltd was one of them, with parliament’s committee on Commissions, State Authorities and State Enterprises (COSASE) and the Auditor General faulting BoU officials for not following the established guidelines and procedures when closing the bank.
Bringing you back to this case, it was agreed between DFCU and former Crane Bank employees that their contracts would not be terminated but stay and serve until their contracts would end. However later, the ‘untrustable bank’ changed its mind and started laying off some of them under the guise of ‘restructering’.
It is from this background that over 400 employees who were affected in the above process ran to the High Court in Kampala seeking permission to sue the merciless bank accusing it of breaching their contracts and unfair dismissal, something that the High Court stamped in and gave them green light.
As a result, therefore, the employees didn’t hesitate to squeeze the bank legally hence dragging it to court through their Lawyers Maxim Advocates and Centre for Legal Aid led by Namahe Sheila and Isaac Ssemakadde, demanding an account of damages, interest and costs for unjust discrimination, fraud, negligence, breach of duty, bad faith, breach of trust and unjust enrichment among other human rights violations.
Therefore, the employees want among others;
1. That the respondent’s agents and servants be ordered to produce and permit the applicants and their advocates to inspect and make copies of the following documents or classes of documents, namely:
(a) The Purchase of Assets and Assumption of Liabilities Agreement between the Bank of Uganda and the respondent referred to in paras 5.2 and 5.3 of the Witness Statement of Defence (WSD);
(b) The lists of employees referred to in paras 5.4, 5.5(a)-e), 56, 5.7 and 5.8 of the WSD and in the list of documents attached to the WSD, plus their respective contracts of employment with Crane Bank Ltd (CBL) and/or the respondent.
Written notices of resignation as referred to in para 5.4(b) of the WSD;
(d) Any and all contracts of the “employees retained by the respondent [that]were revised to ensure pay and benefits parity with the respondent’s employees” as implied in para 5.5 of the WSD;
Any and all documents showing that the respondent did not underpay former CBL staff for doing the same or broadly similar jobs or jobs of equal value compared to pre-existing employees of the respondent” as implied in para 5.5 of the WSD, including the payroll of the respondent in the month before the acquisition of CBL business December 2016 to January 2017), the payroll of the respondent after the acquisition of CBL business from 25 January 2017 to 23 October 2017 and the corresponding returns and payment slips for PAYE and NSSF contributions:
(g) The list(s) of former CBL employees that were laid off for reasons implied in para 5.6(a) of the WSD
(h) The list(s) of former CBL employees that were laid off for reasons implied in para 5.6(b) of the WSD;
Any and all documents showing the respondent’s “branch optimization process” implied in para 5.6(c) of the WSD:
The list(s) of former CBL employees that were laid off for reasons implied in para 5.6(c) of the WSD;
Any and all termination letters for the employees referred to in para 5.7(a) of the WSD;
The notification made to the Commissioner of Labour referred to in para 5.7(b) of the WSD;
(m) Any and all documents showing that the respondent promptly paid “appropriate termination packages (including relocation allowances)” to the employees referred to in para 5.7(c) of the WSD;
(n) Certificates of service referred to in para 5.70 of the WSD;
(0) List of roles that were allegedly duplicated as indicated in paras 5.6(c) and 5.8(a) of the WSD;
(p) List of expatriates who were not retained as indicated in para 5.8(c) of WSD;
(q) Written notice of the advice referred to in para 5.8(d) of the WSD;
(r) Any and all documents showing that the respondent made an ex gratia payment of UGX 1,000,000/- to all laid-off employees as indicated in para 5.8(e) of WSD, and
(s) Any and all documents notifying former CBL employees about the respondent’s grievance redress mechanism referred to in para 5.8(f) of the WSD.
2) The costs of this application be paid by the respondent with a certificate for two counsel.
TheSpy Uganda has since leant that the ruling is set for April 28, 2021, at 11:00 am.