Thursday, July 28, 2016

#UGANDA NEWS BRIEFING - July 29 2016

All time stamps are AST (GMT -4). 
[29/07, 1:08 a.m.]  Diplomatic sources in Geneva told Daily Monitor the orders were given expressly to the mission’s bank account holder, Union Bank of Switzerland/UBS, and also served to both officials in Geneva and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Kampala.

[29/07, 1:09 a.m.]  Uganda embassy accounts frozen in Switzerland

[29/07, 1:10 a.m.]  Irene Kalibala holding embassy at ransom.... This is a country where laws work

[29/07, 1:21 a.m.]  South Sudan crisis: Arua forex outlets hit hard
Forex bureau business operators in Arua town say 90% of their hard currencies have been coming from South Sudan and 10% from....See more at: http://bit.ly/2agGSKB
[29/07, 1:25 a.m.] Lemme just put the whole text here 
The High Court in Geneva, Switzerland, has ordered for the freezing of all assets, precious stones and any official account of the government of Uganda over failure to pay $300,000 (Shs1b) in damages awarded to a Ugandan woman Irene Kalibala for unfair dismissal.
Court documents seen by this newspaper show the court issued express orders on July 14 after officials at the Uganda’s United Nations Mission in Geneva and ministry of Foreign Affairs in Kampala failed to honour two earlier court orders by the Swiss labour court which awarded the claim and a High Court order in which government lost the appeal.
Diplomatic sources in Geneva told Daily Monitor the orders were given expressly to the mission’s bank account holder, Union Bank of Switzerland/UBS, and also served to both officials in Geneva and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Kampala.
Court also stipulated that court fees and related costs that bound from government’s failure to pay shall be borne by the mission. Already, the $300,000 attracts 5 per cent interest per annum until payment is completed.
The latest order came after a March 7 ruling by the same court in which government lost the appeal challenging the judgment by the labour court awarding Ms Kalibala damages.
Court dismissed the appeal after government through its Swiss lawyer Mr Pascal Tourette, who reportedly bagged between Shs69 million and Shs138 million, failed to justify Ms Kalibala’s termination. 
The defence also failed to produce Ms Kalibala’s termination letter. The lawyer later advised government to move the case to the Swiss Federal Supreme Court in Berne, the de facto capital of Switzerland but was fired instead. Before filing an application at the federal court as a prerequisite, government had to first pay a nominal fee of Shs34m (SFr10,000).
Ambassador Christopher Onyanga, the head of Uganda’s Geneva Mission, could not be reached for comment as his mobile phone remained off. However, the permanent secretary in the ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr James Mugume, said they had invoked diplomatic immunity of the mission in the interim.
He added: “We have also referred the matter to the Solicitor General for guidance and the Ministry of Finance for payment.”
Ms Kalibala referred the matter to her lawyer for a comment. Available details indicate she was employed by the mission since 1999, first as a front desk administrator and was later elevated to handle public and investor relations.
Her woes started in 2011 when she fell out with then deputy head of mission, Ms Rosette Nyirinkindi, who she claimed caused her sacking. By the time she was terminated, Ms Kalibala was living in Geneva and, therefore, protected by the Swiss laws.
Sources in Kampala intimated that some officials opposed to her being paid had moved to engage the Attorney General to file an application at a local court arguing “the Swiss courts were not fair.”
Case moved
The government pulled the same stunt, transferring a case from a foreign territory to a local court, like in the case of construction worker Christopher Sales who in 1990 plunged 30 feet from a ladder at Uganda’s United Nations Mission on E 45th Street building in Manhattan.
He sued and was awarded Shs6b ($2m) in damages by a New York Court but government contested the ruling and appealed at the High Court in Kampala.
However, Justice Eldad Mwangusya (now a Justice of the Court of Appeal) in 2013 upheld the ruling by the New York court although government is yet to pay the monies.
Employment
Available details indicate Ms Kalibala was employed by the mission since 1999, first as a front desk administrator and was later elevated to handle public and investor relations.
[29/07, 1:27 a.m.]  Thanks
[29/07, 1:27 a.m.]  Data isn't cheap, you have helped us

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