References filed: on 1st & 4th September 2020 respectively.
Coming up for hearing: 23rd September 2021.
Articles: 71 and 14(3) & (g) of the Treaty to the Establishment of the East African Community (EAC).
Rule: 7(2) of the East African Court of Justice Rules of Procedure, 2019.
Subject matter: Under payment of salaries and gratuity.
The first and second Applicants, Benoit and Oswald were both former drivers at the EAC Secretariat. The Respondent is the Secretary General of the EAC sued on behalf of the Community.
The Applicants cases were consolidated into a single Reference for being claims against the same person and same subject matter. Applicants allege to have been appointed as personal drivers to the Secretary General for the period of his tenure ranging from 2006-2011 and 2011-2016 respectively.
That, though earlier the Council had approved the payments of the personal drivers, it revised the scheme of service and re-categorized salary scale to G3 $11,246 per annum without giving information to the Applicants. The Respondent had put the Applicant’s salary at $4,160 irrespective of the approved G3 scheme of $11,246.
However, having left the EAC secretariat, the Applicants heard from colleagues that the Council had approved the drivers to be paid at the G3 scale as decided by the Council. The Applicants therefore contend that, the Respondent’s failure to pay them rightful entitlements is a violation of Article 71(1) of the Treaty and seek inter alia for orders directing the Respondent to pay the amount due and costs of the Reference.
The Respondent oppose the Reference for being allegedly filed out of time and contrary to Article 30(2) of the Treaty. Further, Applicants pleaded ignorance of the law claiming that, they were unaware of the Council’s decision and that, at the time of their contracts were entitled to the G2 scale and not any other benefits. The Respondent avers the Reference is vehemently filed and be dismissed with costs.
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