News and Views
KCCA lawyers challenge High Court suit by ex-employees
y Brian Mayanja
Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) lawyers are challenging the High Court suit filed against the Authority by its ex-employees, arguing that the court does not have the jurisdictions.
Appearing on Thursday before Justice Vincent Zehurikize at the High Court in Kampala, KCCA lawyers Caleb Mugisha and State Attorney Gerald Batanda said the case should have been filed at the Constitutional Court.
“In essence the applicants seek to challenge the Act of Parliament. Since KCCA Act was passed by Parliament, it can only be challenged in Constitutional Court, but not this court .It’s my humble prayer that their application be dismissed with costs,” Mugisha stated.
He added that the KCCA structure guidelines issued by the public service ministry in March and the directive of the Solicitor General were all done within the law.
The eleven defunct-KCC employees dragged the city executive director Jennifer Musisi, the director of human resource Jennifer Kaggwa and public service ministry for allegedly carrying out an illegal staff recruitment exercise.
They are challenging the guidelines issued by Musisi, saying that they had several irregularities. They argued if the alleged irregularities are implemented, they will exhibit bias against the old staff.
KCC employees are seeking for judicial review.
A judicial review is conducted by the High Court in relation to proceedings plus decisions taken by subordinate courts.
In his submission, Mugisha objected their request for the judicial review, arguing that it was designed to present the excess and abuse of power, neglect of duty by public officers.
Geoffrey Nangumya, who represents KCC employees, however told court that his clients were seeking for the judicial review of the officers, who are implementing the provision of the Act.
“These officers are breaching the Act. The issue of the guidelines is restrictive and my clients are being employed by KCCA since it came into force. The implementation of these guidelines deems that they do not have an employer,” he explained.
Zehurikize advised both parties that the judicial review was a civil proceeding intended to make government bodies operate properly.
Citing the KCCA Act, Nangumya also noted that the law states that the employees have option to work with the authority and those who do not should be given their terminal benefits.
Court has set June 19 as the date it will make its verdict on the matter.