Tanzania: Court Nullifies Removal of Tanzania Teachers Union's Ezekiah Oluoch

Dar es Salaam — The Court of Appeal has declared that the permanent secretary in the President's Office (Public Service Management) acted beyond his powers when he de-registered former deputy secretary general of Tanzania Teachers Union (CWT), Ezekiah Oluoch.

"The first respondent usurped powers he did not have when he directed for the removal of the appellant (Oluoch) from public service. Had he (the permanent secretary) had any reason to believe the appellant had committed any offence, he should have reported the same to the relevant authority for action," said three judges-- Sivangilwa Mwangesi, Mwanaisha Kwariko and Rehema Kerefu.

Mr Oluoch was discontented by decision of the PS to order removal of his name from the list of payrolls for public servants. This came after he secondary school teacher was elected and reelected for the position of deputy secretary general of CWT and served it for years. The government has wanted him to choose between serving as a his employment or go for CWT work. In his reply, Mr Oluoch chose none of the two, but asked to be granted leave without pay.

The government considered his response to mean he had decided to remain outside the public service, and directed that he be removed from the list of government servants.

Initially, Mr Oluoch filed the case in the High Court but was dismissed the for want of merit. It was at this point that he was fired from public service and his name be removed from the list of public servants

Respondents in the case were the permanent secretary in the President's Office (Public Service Management), The permanent secretary in the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, the permanent secretary in the President's Office (Regional Administration and Local Government). Others were the secretary of the Teachers Service Commission and the Attorney General.

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"It is clear that to remove or order for removal of a teacher from public service is not among the first respondent's legal powers. However, teachers may be removed from public service by the President as provided under Regulation 29 (1) of the Public Service Regulations," said the panel.

"Therefore, it is only the President who has powers to remove a public servant from public service in the public interest," said the judges.

Yesterday, the PS in the President's Office (Public Service Management and Good Governance) Dr Laurean Ndumbaro said he has received Mr Oluoch's letter for reinstatement to his work position and that they responded to the letter. "We cannot disclose the content of the letter but he can be reinstated," he said.

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