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Former Uganda Airlines CEO Cornwell Muleya Fights Back, Demands Reinstatement

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Uganda Airlines’ former Chief Executive, Cornwell Muleya is pursuing litigation in order to clear his name and receive compensation after his contract was terminated in February 2022, 9 months into a suspension.

Muleya along with up to 12 others at the national carrier were Suspended in April 2021, a month after the CEO had been offered an 18 months contract extension.

The board including its chairman were also suspended initially for 3 months with an interim board put in place to oversee the airline. After 9 months, the interim board decided to terminate Muleya’s contract but did not disclose the reasons for this only stating officially that allegations against him were substantial.

Lawyers’ Notice

Muleya’s lawyers argue that “Despite glaring irregularities, our client was directed to keep away from the company premises without any lawful or just cause. Moreover, no promised investigation into alleged mismanagement by our client ever took place. In fact, no investigation report has ever been produced to this end,”

The noticed goes on to add: “In spite of the blatant illegalities, you purported to extend our client’s illegal suspension by another three months vide your letter dated 20th August 2021.We need to emphasise that the law does not provide for extension of suspension beyond the period provided under Section 63 of the Employment Act.”

“You issued the said termination notice with the full knowledge that our client was never heard in any disciplinary proceedings. Additionally, you were aware that our client’s contract of employment did not have a termination clause,”

What is Muleya’s demanding through the courts?

  • Immediate reinstatement as the Chief Executive Officer of the company.
  • An unconditional apology for the material inconvenience, reputational damage and loss he suffered.
  • Shs 3.5 billion ( USD 978,000) in damages and other costs including salary arrears.

The CEO’s background

Muleya has also previously worked with Air Mauritius Limited as the Chief Finance Officer, and at Zambezi Airlines Limited, as the Chief Executive Officer. He has also worked as the CEO at ALS – Aircraft Leasing Services, based at Nairobi, and at Air Uganda as the CEO, from 2013 until 2014. In October 2019, Muleya was appointed Acting CEO at Uganda Airlines, while the company searched for a substantive CEO. He replaced Ephraim Bagenda, who was named director of engineering and maintenance at the national airline.

He is also the Founder & Director of Cornwell Aviation Consultants Limited, an aviation consultancy based in Lusaka Zambia.

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