ILLEGAL TERMINATION

Kenya Power ordered to pay former employee Sh6.3 million

The court argues that the company unlawfully sacked its employee, an act which was unfair and discriminatory

In Summary
  • The company's Human Resource Manager Anne Kwambai testified that Tom was employed by the company as technician grade II and served in several ranks.
  • However, Tom defended himself, saying that when the company transferred him to Maralal in Samburu county, his duties were reduced.
The Kenya Power logo.
The Kenya Power logo.
Image: FILE

Kenya Power and Lighting Company has been ordered to pay a former employee Sh6.3 million for unlawful dismissal.

Employment and Labour Relations Court judge Onesmus Makau ruled that Tom Mzaliwa was unlawfully sacked by his employer.

“I enter judgment for the claimant for the sum of Sh6,336,210. The award is subject to statutory deductions but the claimant is also awarded interest on the award plus costs at court rates from the date of filing the suit,” the judge said.

Tom had sued Kenya Power for the illegal termination and asked for an order to declare that the termination as wrongful, unfair and adversely discriminatory.

KPLC human resource manager Anne Kwambai testified that Tom was employed by the company as technician grade II and served in several ranks.

He served in various places–Kindaruma Power station, Isiolo station and Turkwel Power station.

Others included Thika, Nairobi, Eldoret, Mombasa and, finally, Maralal.

She testified that the issue started when Tom was posted to Mombasa, and after serving for two years, he sought a transfer to another favourable station on medical basis and need to be close to his family.

However, since three years had not lapsed as per the company’s regulations, his request was acted upon in January 2015 after completing three years in Mombasa by being transferred to Nairobi.

She further testified that on January 30, 2017, Tom was re-designated from assistant superintendent to senior marketing officer on salary scale MG 08, and he was transferred from Nairobi to Maralal.

However, after serving for about three months, he requested for an early retirement and the same was approved, but all his terminal dues were used to offset his liabilities to the company totalling to Sh1,778,251.

Tom defended himself, saying that when the company transferred him to Maralal in Samburu county, his duties were reduced.

He moved from being a manager of a region with five teams to one doing the groundwork of power metering, ring-fencing of substations and doing marketing and customer relations tasks.

Tom said that the change of duties meant that his position was not available in Maralal, and as such, he was redundant within the meaning of Section 2 of the Employment Act.

Therefore, he argued, he ought to be paid for the said redundancy, having worked for Kenya Power for close to 29 years.

(edited by Amol Awuor)