East African Court of Justice Arusha, 6 February 2014: The First Instance Division today heard evidence from the East African Community (EAC) Director of Human Resource and Administration, Mr. Joseph Ochwada and Acting Director of Finance, Mr. Juvenal Ndimurirwo, on a claim by a former employee Ms. Angella Amudo, a former project Accountant at the EAC.
Ms Amudo alleges she was employed as a Professional Staff accountant, entitled to a five year contract renewable once under the EAC Staff Rules and Regulations. She alleges that the Secretary General illegally caused her to sign a contract for twenty two months instead of the five years.
Mr. Ochwada (1st Witness) in his evidence said that while Ms. Amudo’s position was approved by the Council of Ministers in 2006, It was approved as a Project Position to serve the Regional Integration Support Program (RISP) over a pre-determined duration, and not as an established position.
The Director added that the Project Accountant position therefore cannot be listed in the structure of the Community according the EAC Staff Rules and Regulations which clearly provide category, terms and conditions of the professional staff to serve for a 5 year contract with possibility of renewable only once for 5 more years.
Mr. Ochwada also said that only established positions in the EAC Structure as approved by the Council of Ministers in 2006 are governed by the EAC Staff Rules and Regulations.
He told the Court that Ms. Angella Amudo served as a Project Accountant for the RISP project until she exited the EAC. He described RISP as a program developed and funded by the European Union in 2006 to support three (3) Regional Economic Communities (RECs): the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), The Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) and EAC. Ms. Amudo was recruited Project Accountant to manage the project’s funds.
The Ag. Director of Finance, Mr. Juvenali Ndimurirwo (2nd Witness) told the Court that Ms. Amudo was recruited under the Regional Integration Support Programme (RISP) funded by the European Union (EU EDF9).
The Court will notify the Parties on the next hearing.
Counsels for the Respondent Mr. Stephen Agaba representing the EAC Secretary General and Mr. Nangwala representing the Claimant Ms. Angella Amudo cross examined the witnesses.
All appeared before Hon. Justices Jean Bosco Butasi (Principal Judge), John Mkwawa, and Dr. Faustin Ntezilyayo on the bench.
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