By Our Reporter
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On Wednesday this week, a report appeared in the Daily Monitor indicating that DFCU bank had been dragged to High Court by disgruntled former employees who claim they were unjustly laid off. The report states that the central bank had allegedly assured all the employees that no one would lose their job as dfcu bank took over Crane bank in January 2017. However, after the takeover some of the employees unfortunately were sacked.
Was this justified?
When dfcu bank decided to take over Crane Bank in January this year, it was after careful consideration by its board to make sure it was in line with its growth aspirations. To ensure this, different checks had to be put in place which, of course, included vetting of all their would-be employees, like any shrewd business. Like it would later emerge, some of the former employees were expatriates while others had been involved in fraudulent activities that may have contributed to the demise of Crane.
It had always been public knowledge that a significant number of Crane Bank employees were expatriates earning salaries way higher than the Ugandans which had always been an issue. These included even some of the bank’s security personnel who were often seen suited manning the entrances at the bank.
This was finally confirmed after BoU dragged Sudhir Ruparelia to Commercial court. According to the filed court documents, Crane Brank had been employing several Indian experts who were brought in to work for Crane Bank but did not appear on the regular payroll of the bank. This after a whistleblower made a cry to National Social Security Fund (NSSF) over their unremitted worker’s contributions to the fund which were calculated to be Shs52 billion. With such fraudulent activity going on with in the bank, it was expected some of the individuals would have to be dropped.
In addition to this, when dfcu Bank took over Crane Bank there was a duplication of positions at head office level and therefore it would not make business sense to retain all the employees. It also became inevitable that some of the branches would have to be merged as dfcu was already well established in some of the areas where Crane bank operated also leading to laying off of some of the employees.
So was dfcu justified in letting go of some dead weight? The answer is as obvious as light and day.