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dfcu Bank, BoU given 45-day ultimatum to pay over 48b to ex-Crane Bank employees for illegal contract termination

Christine Nakitende, former operations manager at defunct Crane Bank addressing a presser at Hotel Triangle on Wednesday in Kampala. (Photo by Javira Ssebwami)

KAMPALA- Former Crane Bank employees have issued an ultimatum to Bank of Uganda management and dfcu bank to compensate them for wrongful termination of their contract or face legal action.

Human rights lawyer Isaac Ssemakadde, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) at center Legal Aid Uganda, who represents the embattled employees, have issued a statutory notice to central BoU demanding the officials to answer in 45 days to their alleged connivance with dfcu Bank to dismiss all the former Crane Bank employees.

According to a statutory notice served by Bank of Uganda on October 23, former Crane bank employees seek  general and punitive damages arising from ‘unlawful’ termination of their respective contracts of service after they were transferred to dfcu bank ltd by Bank of Uganda and for breach of statutory duty,  breach of the duty to act fairly and several others.

“Centre for Legal Aid, teachers house 2nd floor, plot 28/30 Bombo road, P. O Box 29285, Kampala indents to institute a suit on their behalf and on behalf of nearly 400 other similarly situated former employees of Crane bank Ltd(CBL) against dfcu and the bank of Uganda (herein called “intended defendants”) by which they seek general and punitive damages arising from unlawful termination of their respective contracts of service after they were transferred to dfcu bank Ltd by Bank of Uganda and for breach of statutory duty, breach of the duty to act fairly, breach of trust, negligence, misrepresentation, deceit, discrimination and other breaches of constitutional rights and duties and costs of the suit,” reads in parts.

The team that is head by Achana Catherine Kate, Akullo Teddy, Ankwana Janet Mector and Arinaitwe Mactose have met on Wednesday morning at Hotel Triangle in Kampala to further discuss the matter.

Other leaders include Kiwumulo loy Dianah, Muvule Abbey, Muchwa Benjamin, Mwanje Robert and Ngororano  Emmanuel.

Centre for Legal Aid CEO and Human Rights Lawyer Isaac Ssemakadde briefing media at Hotel Triangle on Wednesday. (Photo by Javira Ssebwami)

Bank of Uganda took over Crane Bank on allegations that the bank was undercapitalized and then transferred it to dfcu bank on a takeover agreement.

Barely two months after the takeover,  more than 400 former Crane Bank employees were fired by dfcu Bank and accused them of incompetence and that they failed Crane Bank.

Lawyer Ssemakadde says that Bank of Uganda illegally gave dfcu the immunity to fire the employees adding that the Central Bank never had such powers.

“Bank of Uganda acted in bad faith during the impunity takeover of Crane Bank,” he said.

He explained that termination has seen a number of employees suffer great distress, heart feelings, inconveniences, and discrimination and that they are now being discriminated by the banking sector and blamed for the collapse of Crane Bank.

“Central Bank and dfcu Bank have to pay for the impunity,” Ssemakadde said adding that “his clients demand Shs48 billion compensation and that it should be paid to them in 45 days by both Bank of Uganda who allegedly sanctioned the directive and dfcu Bank.

The High court in Kampala last year granted permission to over 400 ex-employees of Crane Bank to sue DFCU bank for wrongful termination.

Speaking to this website outside the hotel, Christine Nakitende also a former operations manager at Crane Bank said she was demoted to a teller after the takeover and later fired without any reason.

“I was given many roles after the takeover, first I was discriminated, then given to handle people in line, then teller up to when I received some “Lugambo” (corridor talks) that we from Crane Bank we were incompetent and too dull to work in dfcu,” she said adding that they were later fired.

“I am home and dfcu is making  money, they have to pay us.”

 

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