Jinja, Uganda | URN | A quarter of a century since their services were terminated, over 3,500 former employees of Nyanza Textile Industries Limited (NYTIL) are still pleading to be paid the packages due to them.
The desperate ex-workers, now 25 years older, were discontinued from NYTIL when the Jinja based textile industry was privatized. They have since been in and out of court pursuing their payment and watching as their colleagues die off one by one, many are under miserable conditions and unable to afford treatment for their ailments.
Although their compensation claims were dismissed by the Jinja High Court in 2009, they appealed against the decision and in 2019, court of appeal ordered government to compensate them.
The now aged citizens, some already eighty years old decided to draft a terminal benefits compensation claim of 10 billion Shillings. On average, each would be paid Shs 2.8 million for all those years, a mere three days pay for a Member of Parliament.
But the attorney general has never instructed the auditor general’s office to ascertain these claims prompting the elderly victims to petition Jinja High Court over the same.
Speaking to this publication after appearing before the Jinja High Court resident judge, Eva Luswata on Wednesday 2nd, September 2020, the former employees said that they have spent close to 22 years in endless court battles with government but their compensation is yet to be paid.
On her part, Luswata directed the auditor general to verify the plaintiff’s claims and adjourned the hearing until 23 November.
Meanwhile, officials from the attorney general’s office declined to comment about the matter. The plaintiffs told journalists that they are frustrated by these endless court battles.
Robert Baliraine, a former NYTIL employee says that many of his colleagues have passed away living their families to endlessly wait for this compensation.
80 year old Muhamudu Nfamutunga says that his hope for compensation is continuously shrinking as most of his colleagues are wasting away with old age.
82 year old Raphael Okurut, a resident of Soroti district says that he is financially constrained after years of spending most of his savings in endless travels to court.
Jonathan Onai, a resident of Namayingo district says that he is living a miserable life and if compensated on time, he will be able to boost the livelihoods of his children.
Meanwhile, Brian Othieno, the plaintiffs’ lawyer says that since most of his clients are senior citizens of advanced age, he believes that the attorney general will consider their plea for quick compensation.