The High Court in Jinja, Uganda, has issued a ruling directing the government to disburse terminal benefits totaling Shs6.2 billion to 3,426 former employees of the now-defunct Nyanza Textile Industries (Nytil).
Nytil, originally established in 1954 as a parastatal company under colonial rule, continued to operate under post-independence governments until 1995 when it was privatized and sold to Southern Range Nyanza Limited, which still operates the facility today.
Previous attempts by the former employees to claim compensation were dismissed by a Jinja Court in 2009. Subsequently, in 2019, the claimants lodged an appeal, leading to a ruling ordering the government to compensate them after the Attorney General failed to instruct the Auditor General’s office to verify their claims.
In her ruling issued last Friday, Justice Faridah Shamilah Bukirwa Ntambi stated that the 3,426 former workers are entitled to receive their terminal benefits amounting to Shs6.2 billion.
One of the claimants, Mr. Mallon Dobayo, was granted permission by the court to pursue his claim independently, resulting in a reduction in the total number of verified claimants from 3,426 to 3,425.
some of Ex Nytil employees
Justice Bukirwa also mandated the government to pay Shs3 million in general damages to each of the 3,425 former workers. She stated, “The workers, being the successful parties, are entitled to the costs of the suit, general damages to the tune of Shs3 million for each, interest on general damages at a rate of 10 percent per annum from the date of judgment until full payment.”
Furthermore, Justice Bukirwa ordered the government to provide the applicants with interest on their terminal benefits at a rate of 8 percent for the past 28 years, from June 1995 until full payment is made.
In response to the ruling, the applicants’ lawyer, Mr. Machel Nyambok of M/S Alliance Advocates, expressed relief, emphasizing the Judiciary’s role in securing the long-awaited terminal benefits for the workers. Mr. Nyambok urged the relatives of deceased claimants to initiate the process of obtaining Letters of Administration to claim their rightful share.
Several former employees also expressed their anticipation of receiving the compensation, highlighting the government’s tax remittances from the defunct Nytil. Mr. Moses Musaazi, a 74-year-old former security guard, shared his excitement, stating that he is currently renting in Buikwe District but plans to use the compensation to construct a permanent residence in Masaka for his retirement.