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Another political appointee sues govt for breach of contract

Zulficar Mustapha

Zulficar Mustapha, former Head, Community Relations Liason Officer Region Six (6), is moving to the court to claim $1.7 million for what he is saying was the wrongful termination of his contract.

A Writ of Summons containing the details of Mustapha’s claim was filed yesterday and the Attorney General (AG), Basil Williams, has ten days in which to enter an appearance and make a response.

 According to Writ, seen by Demerara Waves Online News, Anil Nandlall, Co-Counsel for the plaintiff, argues that Mustapha was contracted to perform the above-mentioned duties upon terms and conditions set out in his contract. These terms and conditions included a monthly salary rate and monthly allowances. Euclin Gomes, Sase Gunraj, and Manoj Narayan will be representing Mohamed, in association with Nandlall.

Mustapha’s contract, Nandlall argues, was to run from January 30th, 2013 to January 29th, 2016. This contract, Nandlall, continued, was determinable by three months’ notice in writing or three months salary in lieu of such notice.

According to a letter of termination signed by Minister of State, Joseph Harmon, and seen by this news outlet, Mustapha, on May 29th, was informed that “the Office of the President has taken a decision for your contract to be terminated, with effect from 2015-05-31.”

Mohamed was further informed that he would receive “a pro-rated vacation allowance for the period 2015-01-30 to 2015-05-31,” and “a pro-rated gratuity, for the period 2015-01-30 to 2015-05-21.”

Pursuant to this dismissal, Nandlall wrote Harmon, informing him that “my client’s contract was terminated with immediate effect and therefore he has not been given the three months’ notice to which he is contractually entitled, nor was he permitted to take his vacation in accordance with clause 5. Accordingly, my client is entitled to the three (3) months’ salary in lieu of that notice and pro-rated pay in lieu of his vacation.”

Nandlall says that his letter to Harmon did not receive a response. He is thus moving to the court to claim $1,267,260; $1,068,258 of which is a total of three months’ salary for Mustapha, and $199,002 for which is allegedly owed for 17 days annual leave for 2015.

Nandlall is also asking that the court grant “damages in excess of $500,000 for breach of contract and for “interest at the rate of 6% per annum from the date of the filing to the date of judgment and thereafter at the rate of 4% per annum until fully paid.” Further, he is asking for costs to the sum of $3,355 and “such further or other reliefs as the court may deem just.”

This is the second time in recent days that someone who was dismissed by the current administration following Election 2015 is taking legal action against their dismissal.

On July 4th, Demerara Waves Online News reported that Clinton Collymore, former Advisor to the former Minister of Local Government, is suing government for $2,744,587 for the “unlawful” termination of his contract.