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Bloodshed & Mutilations: The Dark Truth at C.C.L.E Rubber Company

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Bloodshed & Mutilations: The Dark Truth at C.C.L.E Rubber Company  – Unveiling The Tragedy of Worker Exploitation and Inadequate Compensation 

By Insight Post Uganda 

A 28-year-old Suudi Kakooza, a resident of Mbalala village in Nama sub-county, Mukono District, is in a desperate quest for justice. Kakooza began his job on January 1, 2023, as a machine operator at C.C.L.E Rubber, a Chinese company in Mbalala Industrial Park in Mukono district, with the sole purpose of providing for his wife and child. 

However, things did not go as planned and surely expected following a tragically cut short due to a severe accident that took his left hand. He was left incapacitated and unable to take care of his family.

Despite the undeniable evidence of the company’s blame for his grievous injury, Kakooza’s pursuit of compensation has been met with cold-hearted indifference from his employer, C.C.L.E Rubber Company Ltd.

His suffering began on March 7, 2023, when he was diligently fulfilling his duties as a machine operator in the Tube vulcanization department.

Kakooza’s injury goes beyond just the physical harm as it deeply affects his ability to make a living and his overall well-being. The machinery assigned to him proved to be a double-edged sword that inflicted severe and permanent damage with devastating consequences.

However, amid this life-altering event, Kakooza’s pursuit of justice has been met with an alarming lack of empathy and accountability from C.C.L.E Rubber, the very firm responsible for ensuring his safety and well-being within the workplace.

Medical Records 

A medical form obtained by this website verifies that Kakooza was brought in for first aid, with severe bleeding from his left hand after his fingers were severed by the machine.

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Following initial treatment, he underwent a series of medical procedures at Access Clinic starting on March 15, 2023. Kakooza continued to receive physiotherapy and psychotherapy support at the facility until November 11, 2023.

Following a series of treatments, Dr. Hannington Muwaga concluded in his final report that Kakooza had developed permanent incapacity in his left limb due to the injury sustained at the factory.

Compensation Request 

This prompted him (Kakooza) to engage in discussions with the company’s human resource officer regarding compensation to rebuild his life. Since he could no longer renew his contract to work at the factory, he was informed that the district labour officer had determined a compensation amount of only sh10m for the loss of his hand.

Kakooza further emphasizes that the company should take into account of the broader impact of his injuries, which have not only resulted in the loss of his hand but have also caused permanent damage to his left limb, significantly affecting his ability to engage in hard work.

“I want the company (C.C.L.E Rubber Company Ltd) to consider awarding me at least sh70m considering the extent of physical injury, limitations and the consequent impact on my capacity to perform labour-intensive tasks effectively,” he said.

Kakooza’s case has shed light on a troubling reality that workers, especially those operating heavy machinery, face the risk of premature and tragic fatalities while on their jobs.

Instead of addressing these accidents and providing fair compensation to the affected workers, or the families affected by such tragedies, the C.C.L.E Rubber Company Ltd management has purportedly resorted to a more deceitful strategy.

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It is alleged that they collude with the district labour office to deliberately set lower compensation awards, taking advantage of the fact that the affected families lack the resources to hire legal representation and challenge the company’s decisions in court.

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This calculated maneuver represents a deliberate attempt to evade accountability and avoid responsibility towards affected employees and grieving families. Several reports indicate that the company’s rubber plant has become a place for serious workplace accidents, leaving workers injured.

Recently, the Mukono Labour Officer – Doreen Berinda, faced serious accusations of obstructing injured workers and the families of the deceased employees from receiving due compensation.

Trusted sources at the district close to the matter, told this website that several workers at the Chinese establishments in Mbalala and Namanve Industrial Parks have suffered grave injuries due to unsafe working conditions, lack of proper safety measures, and inadequate training.

Incidents range from machinery malfunctions to hazardous exposure, painting a disturbing picture of the company’s neglect of employee well-being.

Mukono district chairperson, Rev. Peter Bakaluba Mukasa, openly spearheaded these accusations, citing serious complaints from injured individuals and families of the afflicted and deceased individuals who claim Berinda has neglected their needs.

According to Bakaluba, it is unacceptable to reject compensation requests for workers with documented evidence of sustaining permanent injuries during their work duties.

He further highlights instances where employees had their contracts terminated while still undergoing treatment. Despite this, the labour officer refused to endorse fair payments, arguing that the damages were solely meant to cover medical expenses.

Concerns have been raised by various factory workers regarding the loss of limbs, with some now reliant on wheelchairs, while others grapple with persistent headaches and chest pain stemming from heavy metal accidents.

UAP Old Mutual Insurance Assessment

In Kakooza’s case, an assessment conducted by UAP Old Mutual Insurance from Nakawa concluded that he joined the company without any prior blemish or influence of drugs. This implies that the injury he sustained was a direct result of safety precautionary measure lapses at the factory.

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However, other workers, who preferred to speak to us on condition of anonymity, allege that it’s not the first one to get such severe injuries with very little compensation.

Our attempts to get the factory director, Chen Fan, for a comment were unsuccessful. However, the company’s Human Resource Officer said that the company is willing to offer compensation but asserts that Kakooza is unwilling to accept the available paycheque.

“Determination of the award is done by the doctor and labour officer, our role is to pay. In this case, they calculated and allocated him sh10m but he rejected the cheque and we also decided to give him some time to make up his mind,” human resource officer.

Our attempts to reach out to the District Labor Officer, Doreen Berinda, were futile for days despite repeated visits to her office. Information obtained from some district workers suggests that she is avoiding the media regarding this matter.

 

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