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Former EAC Employees Lose Latest Bid For Terminal Benefits

By East African Court of Justice (EACJ)

ARUSHA, Tanzania, April 30, 2012/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- Former employees of the defunct East African Community Thursday lost an appeal to be paid terminal benefits after the Appellate Division of the EACJ confirmed a ruling by the First Instance Division dismissing their claims.

The lower division of the regional court had dismissed the claim by Emmanuel Mwakisha and 748 others on grounds that the Treaty could not be applied retrospectively.

In their reference, the applicants (Emmanuel Mwakisha and 748 others) had prayed for declarations that the respondent's (Attorney General of Kenya) refusal, neglect and/or failure to pay the applicants' terminal benefits constitutes a breach of Article 6(d) and Article 7(2) of the EAC Treaty.

They also prayed for an order to compel the respondent to pay terminal benefits including, but not limited to, one month's salary in lieu of notice, loss of office benefits, pension emoluments, outstanding/accumulated leave, repatriation expenses, real value and 7% compound interest until payment in full.

The EACJ however noted that notwithstanding it being a court of justice, the jurisdiction for interrogating the merits and/or demerits of the appellants' grievance does not lie with it, on account of the non retrospective application of the EAC Treaty, but rather that that jurisdiction lies with the national courts.

Mr. Mutembei Marete and Edmond Gichuru represented counsel for the appellant, while Mr. Muiruri Ngugi and Ms. Irene Lukoba represented the Kenyan Attorney General.

The Court ordered each party to bear its own costs.


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