JUSTICE SERVED

Former Garissa water firm boss get Sh840,000 for unfair sacking

Abdi said that he was not accorded an opportunity to defend himself against allegations

In Summary

• Justice Maureen Onyango awarded Abdi six months' salary totalling Sh720,000 to cover the suspension period where he was paid a quarter of his monthly pay.

• The payment of a quarter of the salary during the suspension, the court said, was not backed by either the terms of his contract or the law. 

Former Garissa Water and Sewerage company Managing director Idriss Omar Abdi
awarded Former Garissa Water and Sewerage company Managing director Idriss Omar Abdi
Image: STEPHEN ASTARIKO

 

The Labour Court has awarded former Garissa Water and Sewerage Company managing director Idriss Omar Abdi Sh840,000 payout for unfair dismissal. 

Justice Maureen Onyango awarded Abdi six months' salary totalling Sh720,000 to cover the suspension period where he was paid a quarter of his monthly pay.

The payment of a quarter of the salary during the suspension, the court said, was not backed by either the terms of his contract or the law. 

Abdi was also awarded one month’s salary of Sh120,000 for unfair termination of his contract. 

But the court ruled that Abdi was not entitled to payment for the balance of his contract period as provided under Section 49 of the Employment Act. 

The water firm was also slapped with the cost of the suit with interest accruing at court’s rates from the judgment till payments in full.

Abdi sued Garissa Water Sewerage Company seeking more than Sh4.5 million over unfair termination of his contract. He also sought an injunction restraining Gawasco from recruiting any other person to the position amongst other demands.

On reinstatement, the court ruled that the remedy can only be made within three years from the date of termination. The contract of employment was terminated on May 4, 2015 and was, therefore, time-barred. 

In his court documents, Abdi said that he was not accorded an opportunity to respond to audit queries raised by auditors even after he wrote to the firm's board of management.

He said that he was informed that the audit report had revealed several issues against him and he would be dismissed summarily.

Abdi told the court that he did not receive any notice or invitation to the board meeting of May 4, 2015 that deliberated his dismissal and as a result was denied an opportunity to defend himself. 

In their defence, the company, through the then board chairman Salan Nunow and human resource officer Abdi Haji, said that they gave Abdi an opportunity to respond but he chose not to attend.

The dismissal, they said, was informed by the audit report that allegedly exposed gross financial mismanagement.

The firm’s leadership said Abdi was in breach of his employment contract for mismanaging the finances of the company. 

The firm said he fraudulently diverted funds to himself and other employees without consultation.

Reacting to the judgment, Abdi said the court has affirmed that he was innocent of the allegations that his employer used to sack him. 

“I’m happy that the court pronounced itself despite seven years of waiting; my reputation is what is important, not even the monetary value that is in the judgment,” he said.