Saturday, June 20, 2015

The Solution? Simply Sue!

Picture this scenario. After reading all the terms and conditions, you fill in the form for a job with Sunday Vision. But at the interview, Dr. Wendo, the editor, turns you down because one of the provisos of the job is that you work on Sunday – something you feel you can’t do because of your religious beliefs - as in Sunday being a day of worship. So what do you do? Call Lawyer and take them to court.

Claiming religious discrimination, Aurelie Fhima, who is Jewish, did just that when Travel Jigsaw, a UK firm, turned her down because she couldn’t work on the Sabbath – the Jewish rest day from Friday to Saturday evening. The firm wrote to her saying: “We cannot offer you a position because we are looking for people flexible enough to work on Saturday’s.”

Court found in her favour and awarded her £8,000 (sh34m) for lost earnings, £7,500 (sh30m) for injured feelings and £1,200 (sh5m) in legal fees – a grand total of sh68m for er, er...for ‘doing a job’ that she never got.

Meanwhile, in Scotland, Wedding Cake Baker was in court for refusing to bake a cake for a marrying gay couple. Court awarded them £42,000 (sh176,400,000) because their “...human rights had been infringed and for discrimination against a gay couple.” But I thought the rule of - ‘my bakery, so I decide who I bake for’ applies - no?

In Wales, Farmer who built a barn was told by Authority that it may have to be demolished because he didn’t have planning permission. Rather than wait for court to issue the demolition judgement, Farmer simply demolished it. I am sure you know what I am going to say next, but for the benefit of those with a Sunday hangover, he was taken to court ‘for wilful destruction of property’ and fined £36,000 (sh151,200,000) – even though it was HIS property and the same court two days later passed judgement for it to be demolished.

Rounding up, a McDonald’s outlet in Dallas, Texas forked out close to $20,000 when a woman took them to court because ‘the tea was so hot, it scalded her tongue and the insides of her mouth’.
In Kampala, anybody who has been to DeWinton Street to eat kigere will know that it’s served piping hot and there is a need to chill a while and let it cool before taking it on. If kigere scalded my mouth and I took the outlet to court, I wonder what Owner would tell court? “Judge, kigere is supposed to be served hot. If it’s not, we would not have any business.” And with that, I would be fined for wasting court time.

Mama Justine in the new taxi park next to the Rubaga stage, serves tea and porridge that is volcanic hot, it will give you third degree burns and needing a skin graft if it spilt on you. She serves it in metal Tumpeco cups or gama’s as they are referred to downtown. If the porridge or tea does not scald the skin off your mouth, then the hot metal of the gama will. Should we also take her to court for selling scalding hot tea and buugi? Better still sue her for using cups that scald?

I believe in retribution - if we are justifiably aggrieved but for drivel, hmm, WTF is say! Should Nodin, Kayos, Paulo, Doc and I sue Nampeera in Bunga for discrimination and injured feelings seeing she closed her doors at 10:00pm – yet as a kafunda, we expect her to stay open till the cock crows? In court she would tell Judge – “my kafunda, my rules, my closing hours” - unlike in Europe or the US where we would have walked away with a massive payout because ‘our human rights to drink were infringed upon’. 

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