High court has ordered Masaka Municipal council to pay 200 million shillings to Edward Kiwanuka Gaavi, the former acting town clerk for unlawful dismissal from office. Justice Catherine Bamugemereire made the ruling on Wednesday on a suit filed by Kiwanuka challenging his dismissal. Prosecution heard that on 13 April 2007, Masaka Chief Administrative Officer Joseph Mukwaya wrote to the District Service Commission to interdict Kiwanuka after he was allegedly implicated for corruption in an audit report.
He was allegedly accused of paying shillings 280 million to Uganda Revenue Authority as Pay As You Earn and Valued Added Tax without negotiating any reduction. The CAO also accused Kiwanuka of renewing the contract of UTODA PUT SAFE, to manage Masaka Taxi Park in disregard to the laid down procedure. As a result, the district service commission sacked Kiwanuka on January 31 2007. Kiwanuka dragged both Masaka District Service Commission and Municipal Council to court challenging the manner in which he was dismissed.
However, in his defense through his lawyer Richard Mugisha of Musika, Mugisha and Co. Advocates, Kiwanuka argued that he renewed UTODA’s contract on the advice of the solicitor general. Mugisha also told court that the 280 million shillings paid in taxes to URA by his client was accumulated by the former regimes, adding that he had nothing to negotiate with URA. In her ruling, Justice Catherine Bamugemereire concurred with the defendant saying that he was dismissed in breach of the law.
He also faulted the findings of the District Service Commission saying that were marred with irregularities and lacked facts. Justice Bamugemereire said Kiwanuka was victimized and treated unfairly, and therefore ordered for his immediate reinstatement to his job. She also directed the municipal authorities to pay him shillings 200 million with interested of 21 percent from the date of the judgment until he assumes office.
Bamugemereire also ordered that Kiwanuka be paid his salary and allowances for the 5 years and 6 months he has been out of office. Kiwanuka has welcomed the court ruling and praised court for being fair, since all the grounds based on to dismiss him from are baseless.