Man sacked for fake certificates loses appeal

Man sacked for fake certificates loses appeal

A CHAMA Cha Mapinduzi cadre, Mr Felician Rutwaza, has lost his job with the World Vision Tanzania and compensation of over 126m/- for engaging in politics and gross dishonesty for an alleged submission of fake academic certificates.

This follows the decision of the Court of Appeal to dismiss the appeals by Mr Rutwaza, the appellant, had lodged to challenge the judgment of the High Court's Labour Division, which invalidated the Award by the Commission for Mediation and Arbitration (CMA) issued in his favour.

Justices Stella Mugasha, Lugano Mwandambo and Ignas Kitusi were satisfied that the World Vision had valid and fair reasons for terminating the appellant's contract for gross misconduct by reason of his involvement in politics in contravention of the employment manual and for gross dishonesty.

"It will now be plain that the respondent (World Vision Tanzania) terminated the appellant's contract on the basis of gross misconduct which the High Court found proved on the required standard and not on any degree of suspicions or doubts as contended by him," they said.

There was another ground of appeal under which the appellant faulted the High Court for quashing the CMA award and substituting reliefs which lacked legal backing. In their decision, however, the justices agreed with the High Court findings.

"In context of the case in which the unfairness of the termination was on procedure only, guided by some decisions of that court, the (High Court) Judge reduced compensation from 12 to three months. With respect, we agree with her entirely," they said.

According to them, since the High Court Judge found the reasons for the appellant's termination were valid and fair, she was right in exercising her discretion ordering lesser compensation than that awarded by the CMA.

Court records show that the appellant contested for councillorship through CCM during the 2015 General Elections and was elected. He got appointed by National Electoral Commission on August 1, 2015 to contest for Ikondo ward, Muleba District and started his campaigns on October 16, 2015.

The appellant was an employee of the respondent. He had a two years employment contract running from September 1, 2014 through August 31, 2016. Almost halfway its duration, the respondent terminated the contract on account of alleged misconduct on the part of the appellant.

Mr Rutwaza was accused of involvement in politics and gross dishonesty for an alleged submission of fake academic certificates. However, the appellant successfully challenged the termination for being unfair both on substantive and procedural grounds.

Through form No. 1, the appellant asked the CMA to award him compensation and an order for reinstatement into employment. The CMA found no satisfactory evidence of misconduct on the part of the appellant to warrant termination on any of the grounds cited by the respondent.

Besides, the CMA found the respondent guilty of flouting the procedure in terminating the appellant without affording him the right to be heard.

Having sustained the claim, the CMA awarded the appellant an assortment of reliefs ranging from compensation, salaries for the unexpired term of the contract and subsistence allowance all amounting to 126,030,000/-. Aggrieved, the respondent filed revision proceedings to the High Court.

To a large extent, the High Court quashed the impugned award particularly on the findings in relation to the substantive unfairness of the appellant's termination holding that there was sufficient evidence proving that the appellant had engaged in politics, thereby breaching the employment manual.

Likewise, the High Court allowed the respondent's complaint on appellant's gross dishonesty manifested by presentation of fake academic certificates, but concurred with the CMA on respondent breaching rules of natural justice by terminating the appellant without affording him opportunity to be heard.

The High Court made a substantial interference on compensation, salaries for the unexpired term and subsistence allowance, thus reducing the award of 12 months' salaries compensation to three months' and ordered the respondent to pay the appellant 7,294,794/- on top of what he had already been paid.

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Author: SUNDAY NEWS Reporter

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