Home NEWS Local News Ombudsman saves former NCPB employee from unlawful termination 

Ombudsman saves former NCPB employee from unlawful termination 

A former employee of the National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB) has a reason to smile after he was reinstated to his job following the intervention of the Commission on Administrative Justice (Office of the Ombudsman).

The Commission found that the decision by the Board to retire the employee from service on account of age amounted to unlawful termination. According to the commission, the Board did not have the power to retire the employee at the age of 60 years since he had not attained the mandatory retirement age for persons with disability.

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Based on this, the Ombudsman wrote to the Board recommending that NCPB reinstates him to continue serving as its officer with no loss of benefit.

“Mr. Parminas Oyori Monayo, a former employee of the NCPB, complained to the Commission alleging unfair treatment and unlawful termination of his employment.  According to him, he retired from service in January 2023, however, before his retirement, he applied for an extension of retirement age from 60 to 65 years on the basis that he has a disability that is recognized by law,” noted the commission in a statement Thursday

The Ombudsman further indicated that his application was unfairly declined without any reason being given for the same

This predicament, CAJ says, impelled the complainant to seek the intervention of the Commission to have the dispute resolved with a view to being retained in employment until he attains the mandatory retirement age for persons living with disability as provided for under Regulation 70(1)(b) of the Public Service Commission Regulations, 2020.

“The Commission by way of inquiry took up the matter with the Managing Director, NCPB. The Board in its response to the Commission indicated that Mr. Monayo was involved in a road traffic accident on 1st February 2003 that resulted in his disability status and after that, he was transferred from Kedowa Depot to Nyansiongo Depot on humanitarian grounds in September 2004 to enable him to report for duty from his home, which was near the latter station,” said CAJ

“The doctor’s report on the case dated 24th February 2006 indicated that his permanent incapacity was at 65 percent and recommended that he be assigned light duties while he continued undergoing medical attention,” added the commission

According to NCPB, the management decided to retain the officer in service until he attained the official retirement age of 60 years on 1st January 2023 even though he was not productive after being issued a notice for retirement on 7th March 2022.

Monayo later appealed this decision and requested an extension of retirement age to 65 years which is the retirement age for persons living with a disability. The management is however said to have deliberated on his appeal and decided against extending his employment.

The Board had indicated that a decision to extend an employee’s period of service is at the employer’s discretion depending on their contribution, and that the decision was made on the premise that the former employee was not productive.

Seized of the matter, the Ombudsman wrote to the Public Service Commission (PSC) seeking clarification as to whether the decision to retire a person with disability at the age of 65 was discretionary.

In its response, the commission says PSC stated that it had pronounced itself on the matter of declaring a public officer as a person living with disability and extending of retirement age to 65 years, noting that the regulations apply to public bodies and all persons holding or acting in an office in a public body.

The PSC therefore indicated that they expected all public bodies to adhere to the provisions of the regulations and any process outside these regulations was considered a violation of the law.

Having considered all the facts, provisions of the law, and precedent, vis a vis the issues for determination, The Commission found that the NCPB did not have the discretion on whether to retire Mr Monayo at 65 years or not. It also found that the decision of the NCPB to retire Mr. Monayo at 60 years instead of 65 years was invalid.

“There was no need for Mr. Monayo to apply for an extension of his retirement age from 60 to 65 years since he is a person with disability,” said the commission

CAJ avers that “the NCPB did not have the power to retire Mr. Monayo at the age of 60 years since he had not attained the mandatory retirement age for persons with disability. The purported retirement of Mr. Monayo from service by the Board on account of age amounted to unlawful termination,”

The National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB) has since complied with the directive, confirming compliance and implementation of the determination of the Commission.

“This is to inform the Commission that the Board will reinstate Mr. Monayo from 1st January 2024.”  Read a letter from the NCPB MD

Mr Monayo in an appreciation letter to the Ombudsman also confirmed that he reported to work and thanked the Commission for the intervention.

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