Court name
High Court of Uganda
Case number
High Court Civil Suit-1996/560
Judgment date
23 January 2002

Robinah Sajjabi v UCB (High Court Civil Suit-1996/560) [2002] UGHC 58 (23 January 2002);

Cite this case
[2002] UGHC 58
 
THE REPUBLIC OF UGANDA
IN THE HIGH COURT OF UGANDA AT KAMPALA
HIGH COURT CIVIL SUIT NO. 560 OF 1996
 ROBINAH SAJJABI
::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::PLAINTIFF
VERSUS
UGANDA COMMERCIAL BANK
:::::::::::::::::::::::::::DEFENDANT
BEFORE: THE HON MR. JUSTICE E.S. LUGAYIZI
 JUDGEMENT
 

The plaintiff sued the defendant for, among other things, wrongful termination of contract of service and prayed Court to grant her the following remedies,
(a) special damages of shs. 21,552,5481=;
(b) a court order for payment of pension dues to be assessed by this Honourable Court;
(c) general damages for wrongful detention and imprisonment;
(d) costs; and
(e) any further relief Court may deem fit.
 

In its WSD the defendant denied the plaintiff’s claim and insisted that it lawfully terminated the plaintiff’s service on account of gross misconduct.
At the time of hearing the suit both the plaintiff and the defendant agreed that in the event the plaintiff’s suit succeeded the defendant would, among other things, pay the plaintiff the following amounts,

(a) Shs. 3,274,413/= as accumulated leave;
(b) shs. 3,514,598/= as arrears of salary;
(c) shs. 1,045,150/= as honorarium
(d) shs. 6,394,959/= as terminal benefits.
(e) Shs. 115,939/= in lieu of notice of termination.
 

The parties further agreed that, in the above event, the plaintiff would also be entitled to pension which the Privatisation Unit will work out. In view of the foregoing, therefore, the issues that Court must resolve are two, namely,

1. Whether the plaintiff’s employment was lawfully terminated?
2. The available remedies?
 

During the hearing of the suit the plaintiff called one witness in support of her case, namely, herself (i.e. PW1). She briefly testified as follows. That in the early part of 1982 she took up employment with the defendant as a clerk. She worked diligently until the early part of December 1994 when the defendant suspended her from duty on the allegation that she was involved in a bank fraud. She was arrested, interrogated, searched and detained by the police. She spent 3 days in a crowded, filthy cell at Kampala Central Police Station. After her release on police bond she continued to report to the police, from time to time. Eventually, the police referred her back to the defendant’s personnel department where the defendant handed her a letter dated 18th September 1995. That letter terminated her service with the defendant, but it gave no reason for the termination. In her opinion the termination of her service was wrongful because it did not follow her terms and conditions of service; and that has greatly inconvenienced her and caused her anguish.

In its defence the defendant relied on the testimony of Jennifer Magombe (DW1) which was briefly as follows. That at the time the defendant terminated the plaintiffs service she was her supervisor in the clearing department. The nature of their work was, among other things, to receive cheques from the Clearing House which were made in the defendant’s favour and those which the defendant had to pay against. They would then record those cheques, raise the relevant documents (i.e. vouchers and schedules) as evidence of the existence of such cheques and finally send the cheques and documents to the defendant’s various branches around the city for action. However, before dispatch the plaintiff and her other workmate would record the cheques in the register book and sign the register. On the 2’ December 1994, the plaintiff dealt with cheques and the relevant documents (i.e. vouchers and schedules) for the defendant’s branches which included Bwaise. In the course of that day,