Wages, pensions and benefits

Rajab Kagoro v Makerere University ((HCT-00-CV-CS-0823-2003)) [2009] UGHC 178 (6 August 2009);


Search Summary: 

The plaintiff’s suit against the defendant was for Shs.12,408,464/= being outstanding balance on In-House Retirement Benefits scheme and Shs.4,513,955/= being outstanding pension arrears dating from February 1997 to December 2003.  He also claims general damages for inconvenience and losses incurred due to breach of contract.

The substance of the plaintiff’s case was that he was an employee of Makerere University in the capacity of a driver from 1962 to 1997 when he retired having reached the retirement age of 60 years;


Headnote and Holding: 

Court found that the Scheme was a creation of the University Council.  The plaintiff did not tender in evidence or at all any letter of appointment that indicated otherwise.  Therefore, for one to be entitled to any benefits under it, those benefits had to be calculated in accordance with its terms.  The terms included that the recipient clocks 60 years of age, gets paid 50% of his total calculated benefits, and the balance is paid in monthly installments over a period of 15 years.


Learned Counsel for the defendant had submitted that the plaintiff had not in any way whatsoever adduced before court any document, authority or other Scheme where he bases his argument or allegation that he ought to have been paid his total entitlements as a lump sum and that indeed no other such scheme run by the defendant exists.  Upon revaluation of the evidence on record, court accepted this submission.  The law is that whoever desires any court to give judgment as to any legal right or liability dependent on the existence of facts which he/she asserts must prove that those facts exist.  The plaintiff was bound to prove the allegations contained in his plaint on a balance of probabilities.  He did not do so.

 In these circumstances, the only logical conclusion to be drawn from the pleadings and the evidence adduced was that the outstanding balance under the Scheme was to be paid in monthly installments over a period of 15 years as provided in Minute No. 958 (iv) of the 79th Minutes of the University Council .

Court awarded a sum of Shs.2,000,000/= (Two million only) as adequate compensation to him for the said inconvenience and loss. 



As regards costs, considering that the plaintiff had achieved partial success, court ordered that he be paid half the taxed costs of the suit.


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