By Our Reporter
KAMPALA, Uganda [SHIFTMEDIA] National Organisation of Trade Union (NOTU) Chairman General Usher Wilson Owere has said he is ready for dialogue with those who tried to overthrow him as Chairman General.
Owere who was declared the legitimate NOTU Boss by High Court Judge Musa Ssekaana said he wants dialogue with the ‘coup plotters’, and masqueraders for the sake of peace.
“Court has ruled, that I am the legitimate Chairman General of NOTU, should they (coup plotters attempt to appeal, we shall meet in court and beat them again Big Time with huge costs for damages, but I am ready for dialogue for the sake unity in NOTU and workers solidarity,” said a beaming Usher Wilson Owere.
Owere was addressing the press at BMK House in Kampala a week after the judgment was ruled in his favour.
In the ruling, Justice Musa Ssekaana also awarded costs of damage to the tune of UGX30m, and asked the six respondents to also meet costs of Owere’s lawyer, represented by Counsel Peter Okello Jabweli of Okua and Company Advocates.
Owere warned the ‘coup plotters’ against appealing against the ruling. “The judgement is very clear, no amount of appeal can quash it. For the sake of peace and unity, let them come and work together for the better of Ugandan workers. Many Ugandan workers are dying in factories across the country, as NOTU leaders battle and waste time in court,” said Owere. He said the court victory is not for him as Owere, but for all workers in the country.
“What court ruled will remain a reference against any such similar wrong doings in future. Workers are suffering, let as focus on supporting them, but instead, we as leaders, are behaving like the organisation belongs to us individuals,” he said.
Lawyer Speaks Out
Counsel Peter Okello Jabweli welcomed the ruling saying all the grounds that they raised against wrongful dismissal of Wilson Owere as NOTU Chairman General were ruled in their favor. “The court ruled the meeting held at Hotel Africana to throw Owere out was illegal. The case was about not giving Owere a fair hearing as required by law,” said Jabweli. He said should the “coup plotters’ attempt to appeal, they will be battered more, and will pay heavier costs of damages.
Justice Ssekaana observed that removal of Owere as Chairman General was unfair, unjust, malicious, irrational, and illegal, and contravenes the principles of fair hearing and natural justice.
“Already I am contemplating appealing against the award of UGX30m given to Owere, since it is small given the damage those coup plotters did on my client.” “The court also ordered that the six pay my costs of representing Owere, I don’t want to tell you here how much it is, but it is some good cash worthy my sweat,” said Jabweli.
The six include: Hon Christopher Peter Werikhe, Stephen Mugole, Richard Bigirwa, Mauku Moses, Badaru Barbara, and Amiti Tom.
He said the respondents are supposed the costs of the damage and lawyers costs using their personal money, and not money from organizations they represent.
Asked to comment on next step of action regarding returning Owere back to NOTU offices to resume work, Jabweli said: “Court orders are not given in vain. Whoever doesn’t respect can face dire consequences.” He said he was proceeding to get explicit court orders to be handed over to the Registrar Ministry of Gender who oversees Unions activities in the country for appropriate action.