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Atiak sugar factory employees seek legal redress after termination

FILE PHOTO: Atiak sugar factory

Amuru, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Fifteen employees of Atiak sugar factory in Amuru district are seeking legal redress after their contracts were terminated.

Last month, the staff were told to stop working and later forced out of the factory premises. They include the maintenance managers, engineering managers attached to the mill house, boiler superintendents, senior electrical scientists and instrumentation technicians among others.

They were recruited in April by Horyal Holding Investment Company Limited owned by Amina Moghe Hersi.

Stephen Anywar, the engineering manager attached to mill house says that they were told not to return to the factory premises after Amina was impatient with the slow works which were caused by technical glitches.

Anywar who was speaking on behalf of the other employees says that despite having contracts, Amina with the help of the police and the army ordered them out of her factory premises and staff quarters.

Anywar says that they sought the intervention of Dan Kidega, the chairman Board of Directors in vain.  He adds that they were left with no option but to heed to the verbal termination.

According to Anywar, they have resolved to engage a law firm to represent them in the industrial court to argue out their case. They want the factory to reinstate them under specific terms and conditions or pay them for special damages.

Several attempts to contact Amina and Kidega, the board chairman through their known mobile phone numbers was futile.

Established in 2016 on an estimated 27,000 acres of land, the company is a subsidiary of Horyal Investment Holding Company Ltd located in Okidi North Parish in Atiak sub-county.

Through Uganda Development Corporation (UDC), government owns over 50 percent stake in the sugar project and has since advanced more than 75 billion Shillings to boost it. The factory benefits over 4,000 out growers from Gulu, Amuru, Lamwo and Adumani Districts.

Since December 2018, the factory has lost over 600 acres of growing cane plantations worth 2.8 billion in separate intentional infernos blamed on the neighbouring communities.

In January, following the rampant fire in the cane plantation, Aswa river region police conducted security investigation and recommended to factory management to always resolve workers grievances.

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