What is Dr. Biru Asking?

In a written statement to the US Department of State, the World Bank falsely claimed Dr. Biru’s request is to re-litigate his racial discrimination claim that has been reviewed and rejected by the Tribunal. As highlighted in Senator Chris Van Hollen's 73-Page Report, Dr. Biru outstanding cases are different.

 

Dr. Biru's outstanding cases that he brought before the Tribunal in 2013, 2014 and 2015 were triggered by what happened three years after the Tribunal made its judgements on his discrimination claims. During the Tribunal’s proceedings of the racial discrimination case, the World Bank retroactively falsified Dr. Biru’s record and lied under oath about it. Under enormous pressure from US lawmakers, in 2013 and 2014, the World Bank gradually restored Dr. Biru’s official record internally.

 

Since 2014, the World Bank has two different personnel records for Dr. Biru: (1) the internally restored record which is extraordinarily positive, and (2) the information on its website and publications that are irreparably defamatory and starkly different from his official internal record. A table comparing the two is provided on Dr. Biru’s website www.LongerThanApartheid.com (see page titled “Blacks Rated Inferior.”

 

The World Bank described Dr. Biru's internally restored official performance record as "hagiographic" - too good to be true, but insisted the retroactively degraded and irreparably defamatory record will not be removed from the Bank's website. The Honorable Ken Cucinnelli described the false record that is on the World Bank's website as "a case of a deliberate and systemic destruction of a human being." 

World Bank Staff Rule 2.01 prohibits the Bank from having contradictory personnel information on current or former staff members. The Staff Rule requires the World Bank to correct "false or misleading" public information and disclose the true and official record to prospective employers and others to mitigate reputational damages to the affected staff. 

To date the Bank has refused to honor the Staff Rule in Dr. Biru's case, deeming his restored official record "hagiographic." What is racist about its action is that what it considered "hagiographic" for a black man it credited to white managers on its websites and publications.  

In 2013, and 2014 the Tribunal accepted Dr. Biru’s appeal to correct his public record and asked the Bank to respond. The Bank’s Senior Advisor for Racial Equality filed an amicus brief supporting the Tribunal’s decision, stating Dr. Biru’s case was the worst racial discrimination case he had ever seen. Dr. Biru’s appeal also coincided with the World Bank’s diversity report that found his case a “blatant and virulent case of racism.”

 

The World Bank embargoed the diversity report as confidential and filed a motion with the Tribunal to dismiss Dr. Biru’s appeal, contending the Tribunal lacked jurisdiction to review his defamation and disenfranchisement claims.  

 

The Tribunal has never reviewed the merits of his complaints, claiming it lacked jurisdiction to review the defamation and disenfranchisement claims. Another outstanding issue is Dr. Biru's severance payment. The Tribunal has not reviewed this either. 

1. Redress for the irreversible disenfranchisement of his professional credentials and defamation of his character.

 

The World Bank has no moral or legal ground to maintain the irreparably damaging defamatory record on its website, after it corrected the record internally in 2014. Even worse, it has no basis (other than discrimination) to refuse to honor Staff Rule 2.01.

Since the World Bank has asserted the Tribunal lacks jurisdiction to review his outstanding claims and the Tribunal has stated it will not accept defamation complaints from him, the only option left is mediation or external arbitration. The buck stops with the current Interim President of the World Bank and the HR Vice President. Dr. Biru's demands are:

A. The World Bank resolve the defamation and disenfranchisement cases through mediation within 30 days.

B. If the case is not settled in 30 days, agree to resolve the case through external arbitration. The arbitrator will be agreed by both parties.

 

2. Immediate Payment of his severance payment + lost earning based on the DJI average return (Dividends Reinvested)

When Dr. Biru was unlawfully terminated, he was denied severance payment citing the following article in Staff Rule 7.11 (Ending Employment [due to] Unsatisfactory Performance): “A staff member separated for reasons of unsatisfactory performance is not entitled to severance payments.”

The World Bank Tribunal rejected the Bank's claim of poor performance and found Dr. Biru’s termination "unlawful, capricious, an abuse of discretion and a violation of due process." The Tribunal instructed the World Bank to remove all references to poor performance. The World Bank is still withholding his severance payment.

In Louis de Merode, et al v. The World Bank (1981) the Tribunal ruled "The Bank cannot deprive staff members of accrued rights for services already rendered. This well-established principle has been applied in many judgments of other international administrative tribunals."  Dr. Biru’s severance payment is accrued over 18 years of service.

On May 17, 2018, the current HR Vice President (Osmane Diagana) wrote to Dr. Biru stating “I will try to get the background and story on the case then I or someone in my team will revert ASAP.”  President Kim blocked the HR vice president from reviewing the case.

The Tribunal never reviewed this issue. His severance payment was withheld by former HR VP (Hassan Tuluy) and President Jim Yong Kim. It can only be redressed by the current HR Vice President and the Interim President. They have  institutional and moral obligations to pay him his severance payment.

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