Sacked Uganda Airlines boss seeks Shs3.3b pay

Mr Cornwell Muleya was sacked as Uganda Airlines chief executive officer on February 15 . PHOTO | file 

What you need to know:

In a letter written through Muwema & Company Advocates and Solicitors, Mr Cornwell Muleya is seeking payment for salary arrears, gratuity, untaken leave, repatriation allowances and damages, among others.

Sacked Uganda Airlines chief executive officer Cornwell Muleya has written to the Ministry of Works seeking compensation up to a tune of Shs3.3b being payment of salary arrears, gratuity, untaken leave, reimbursement for fuel, telephone and toll expenses, repatriation allowances and damages, among others. 

In a March 28 letter written through Muwema & Company Advocates and Solicitors, Mr Muleya also demands for immediate reinstatement into his job as the chief executive officer of Uganda Airlines and “an unconditional apology for the material inconvenience, reputational damage and loss suffered”.

The letter, which is addressed to Mr Bageya Waiswa, the Ministry of Works permanent secretary, also demands that Mr Muleya is availed with copies of investigations into alleged mismanagement and proceedings and resolution of the board of Uganda Airlines upon, which a decision was made to terminate his services, failure of which this “shall confirm absence of any merit in the allegation leveled against our client”.

He is seeking payment of Shs189m as salary arrears, Shs226.9m in gratuity, Shs139.1m in untaken leave, Shs19.2m as reimbursement for fuel, telephone and toll expenses, Shs252.1m in severance allowances and Shs126m as four weeks net pay as provided by the law.

Other payments include Shs1.2b as damages for loss of expectation interest in employment, Shs54m or $15,000 as repatriation allowance, Shs1b as payment for reputation damages and Shs322.2m as up to-date costs amounting to 10 percent of pecuniary claim.

On April 29, 2021, Mr Muleya was sent on forced leave over alleged failure to supervise and curb corruption of staff at Uganda Airlines, delayed operations of the Airbus, delay to implement the self-handling project, gross procurement malpractices, financial mismanagement and unethical human resource practices in recruitment.

He was later suspended on May 21 before his contract was terminated on February 15.

However, in the letter, Mr Muleya notes that the “purported suspension and termination ... was done contrary to due process and the law” and “presents a clear case of a witch-hunt wrought with malice and reeks of illegalities”.

Yesterday Mr Waiswa, told Daily Monitor that the letter had been “written to me in my personal capacity not the Ministry or office”, noting that he was “consulting my legal team, because he [Mr Muleya] cannot sue me as a person”.

“You know, this has been his problem from the word go. I could write to him letters and he would not recognise me asking in which capacity I was doing so. I would tell him, I am the PS Ministry of Works under which your organisation falls and above all, I am the chairman of the interim board of directors. He [Muleya] refused to accept that,” he said, noting that whereas Mr Muleya would want to sue him as a person, he is protected by the law.

In the letter, Mr Muleya also claims his termination, suspension and forced leave were all illegal because the termination notice was issued with “the full knowledge that our client was never heard in any disciplinary proceedings”.

However, Mr Waiswa claimed that Mr Muleya had refused to appear before board disciplinary hearings, of which he was made aware by the Uganda Airlines company secretary.

“All the times we asked him [Muleya] to appear through the company secretary, he did not. One time he [company secretary] took him a letter to sign, he [Muleya] refused to sign it, which is an act of impunity,” he said.

The letter is copied to President Museveni, Office of the Attorney General, Minister of Works, minister of Finance.

Warning of legal redress       

Acting through Muwema & Company Advocates, Mr Muleya also informs Mr Waiswa that “your open acts of public misfeasance have occasioned immeasurable loss and damage to our client’s distinguished career in the aviation industry which he has painstakingly built over the last 20 years ... we are under firm instructions to institute appropriate legal action to redress and atone for the said loss and damage”.

Item                                                    Amount

Salary arrears                                    Shs189m

Gratuity                                             Shs226.9m

Untaken leave                                   Shs139.1m   

Reimbursements                               Shs19.2m    

Severance pay                                   Shs252.1m   

Four weeks’ pay                               Shs126m

Damages                                           Shs1.2b

Repatriation pay                               Shs54m

General damages                              Shs1b

Pecuniary claim                                Shs322.2m  

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