THE Court of Appeal has confirmed the dismissal from employment services of former Deputy Director General with the Tanzania Ports Authority (TPA) Hamadi Koshuma for abuse of office, gross misconduct, gross inefficiency and gross dishonesty.
Justices Richard Mziray, Gerald Ndika and Jacobs Mwambegele ruled against Koshuma, the appellant, after dismissing his appeal he had presented to fault findings of the High Court's Labour Division, thus, shutting his dreams of being paid about 1.5bn/-.
"That said and done, we dismiss the appeal as it is bereft of substance," the justices declared. In its decision, the High Court had upheld the judgment given in favour of the TPA, the respondent in the appeal, by the Commission for Mediation and Arbitration (CMA).
One of the contested issues in both the CMA and the High Court was the appellant's complaint that the termination was made by the respondent's Acting Director of Human Resources, who had no authority to do so and hence the dismissal was made unfairly.
In their judgment, the justices said that it was common ground before the CMA that the disciplinary authority for the appellant, in his former position as the Deputy Director General, was the Board and at no point in time was such authority ever delegated to any other organ or official of the respondent.
According to them, it was uncontroverted that the disciplinary proceedings against appellant were conducted by the Board itself and the appellant had acknowledged before the CMA to have appeared before the Board on January 9, 2013 after his disciplinary hearing on January 4, 2013.
They pointed out further that the appellant was notified that the Board's decision would be communicated to him in writing in line with the TPA's peremptory obligation as the employer under Rule 13 (8) and (10) of the Employment and Labour Relations (Code of Good Practice) Rules, 2007.
Referring to the letter sent to the appellant after the disciplinary hearing session the justices said that the test left no shred of doubt that the appellant was notified of the Board's decision to dismiss him from office with effect from January 9, 2013.
"Apart from stating that the dismissal was reached by the Board at the end of the disciplinary hearing conducted on January 4 and 9, 2013, the letter enumerates offences which the appellant was charged with and convicted of and provides a synopsis of the evidence and findings against him," they said.
In such context, they said, the appellant's attempt to impute the dismissal to the author of that letter, that is, the Acting Director of Human Resources, as an act of unilateral and unlawful assumption of disciplinary powers is, with respect, implausible and disingenuous.
"We thus uphold the concurrent finding by the courts below that it was not the (Acting Director of Human Resources) but the Board that terminated the appellant's employment with the respondent," the justices concluded.
Hamadi Koshuma was an employee of the respondent, Tanzania Ports Authority, as its Deputy Director General (Corporate Services) but was dismissed on January 11, 2013 in a manner that he alleged to be both procedurally and substantively unfair.
He unsuccessfully challenged the dismissal, at the first instance, before the Commission for Mediation and Arbitration ("the CMA) and then, on revision, before the High Court, Labour Division at Dar es Salaam.
Still undaunted, he took the matter to the Court of Appeal. The appellant was employed by the respondent on June 15, 1993 and that on February 24, 1999 he assumed the position of Assistant Secretary and Legal Officer.
On September 22, 2008 he was elevated to the rank of Executive Assistant to the Director General. Koshuma held the position until his appointment as the Deputy Director General - Corporate Services on May 28, 2012.
On August 23, 2012, the appellant was suspended from office pending investigations into certain allegations against him.