Coming up for hearing: 17th September 2021.
Reference filed: 24th June 2018.
Articles: 14, 16 and 70 of the Treaty for the Establishment of the East African Community (EAC).
Subject matter: Claim over alleged underpaid salaries and allowances.
The claimant alleges to have been employed in 2007 as a Personal Driver to the Deputy Secretary General -Finance and Administration (DGS-F&A) throughout a three years period of service of the DSG-F&A that was renewable once and ended in 2013. The Respondent placed his salary in G2 scale whereas an EAC Council Decision (EAC/CM12/Decision 76) had placed him at G3. Upon completion of the tenure in July 2013, he was retained by the Respondent as a pool driver up to July 2014 when he was appointed driver to the former Hon. President of the EACJ at a G2.
In 2016, he was informed of the Council decision that graded drivers for Executive Staff at G3 salary scale. He wrote a memo to the Respondent, cited the Council Decision and requested to be paid under the approved G3 salary scale. In 2017, the Respondent without making reference to the Council decision elevated him to G3 salary scale to run parallel to the period of his contract by then and did not mention about his claim of unpaid salaries and allowances.
Claimant alleges the Respondent and his authorized officials acted maliciously and gave him a contract contrary to the Staff Rules and Regulations and in violation of the Council decision by placing him under G2 salary scale instead of G3 in his first six years contract as a driver to the DSG-F&A. The Respondent underpaid him a total claim of USD 63,903 as his salary and gratuity and refused to pay him the rightful entitlements in bad faith despite having full knowledge of the Council decision, being the custodian and implementer of the directive, thereby causing him to suffer general damages. He prays for orders against the Respondent to pay him the total of unpaid salaries and gratuity, interest on the principal sum and general damages.
The Respondent argues inter alia to have put the Claimant in G2 salary scale because he was recruited as a Personal Driver and not a Senior Driver. Grades for the two positions were not the same as the Council decision only placed Senior Drivers at the G3 scale. Further, the term Senior Driver in any organization connotes more than a Personal Driver and the two cannot be used interchangeably.
The Respondent argues the Claimant was rightly appointed in G2 scale and he accepted the contract which lapsed in 2013. He cannot raise claims over a non-existing contract and his claim does not lie under Article 31 of the EAC Treaty. The Respondent intends at the first hearing of the claim to raise a Preliminary Objection to that effect and in among other things prays for dismissal of the claim with costs.
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