Almas M. Muwinda et al. vs United Republic of Tanzania
On September 25th, 2017, Mr. Muwinda and other applicants, filed with the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights (the Court) an application instituting proceedings for alleged violations of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, as well as other international instruments.
The applicants were all employees of the Tanzanian state-owned Urafiki Textile Mills (UTM), which was dissolved by a decree on 21 March 1997. All its employees were therefore dismissed and severance pay was to be received by the applicants. The effective date of this decree was set for March 31st, of the same year.
As a result of significant delays in the payment of the above-mentioned allowances, certain employees whose applicants have brought legal proceedings to receive a subsistence allowance to cover the waiting period for the payment of their severance pay. A dispute concerning the period to be considered for the payment of subsistence allowances then pitted the applicants against the Tanzanian State. The latter claim that the respondent State violated their right to work and to equitable remuneration by not paying subsistence allowances, which formed part of their severance pay.
Despite various extensions, the Tanzanian State has not submitted replies. On November 21st, 2019, the Republic of Tanzania deposited the instruments of withdrawal of the Court’s declaration of jurisdiction to receive applications from individuals and non-governmental organizations. In issuing its decision on March 24th, 2022, the Court has been faithful to its consistent jurisprudence of dealing with all cases enrolled in the Registry before the date of entry into force of the withdrawal of the declaration.
The Court first concluded that the case was admissible and declared it had jurisdiction to hear it before turning to the merits of the case. After examining the pleas put forward by the applicants, namely the alleged violation of their rights to work and of the right to non-discrimination, the Court concluded that they could not succeed. It therefore agreed entirely with the respondent State’s replies.
This summary is provided for informational purposes only, does not involve the responsibility of Dome and should in no way be used as a substitute for a careful reading of the judgment and order of the case.