A security officer who was fired for making Fred Matiang’i queue for a security check at JKIA three years ago was dealt a blow Tuesday after the Labour Court in Nyeri dismissed her suit.
Daizy Cherogony had sued the Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) for sacking her on claims of ignoring Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i.
In addition to asking the Court to reverse her sacking, Ms Cherogony went for the jugular and demanded Sh40.9 Million compensation. Mind you, this amount was a significant raise from her initial demand of Sh2.4 million.
Through Matundura Advocates, Ms Cherogony had argued that she is entitled to damages for wrongful dismissal and unfair termination of employment.
But in his ruling on Tuesday, Justice Nzioki Wa Makau ruled that KAA was right to dismiss her for being disrespectful to the then Education CS.
The court noted that the Civil Aviation Security Programme manual requires government officials to be screened like every other passenger, except where prior arrangements have been made.
“In this case, it was not improper to require the Cabinet Secretary Dr Fred Matiang’i to undergo screening like other passengers,” Justice Makau ruled.
‘CCTV Footage Showed Officer Disregarded Matiang’i’
The court, however, noted that CCTV footage of the incident was played in court and it showed the former security supervisor interacting with the CS.
“She is seen disregarding the CS and beckoning other passengers at the glass door. Whereas the verbal exchanges were not available, it is clear there was some disregard for the passenger who turned out to be the Cabinet Secretary for Education at the time,” the judge said.
“The improper handling of the passenger was sufficient basis for the Respondent to initiate disciplinary action against the Claimant. She was heard in terms of Section 41 and her rights under Article 41(1) safeguarded,” said the court.
The High Court also ordered Cherogony to pay court costs, saying the suit was filed in Nyeri, taking KAA’s counsel and witnesses far from the scene where the incidents relevant to the suit occurred.
“As the suit was filed here in Nyeri bypassing the Employment Court at Nairobi, the claimant will be liable in costs for the suit,” Makau added.
KAA had told the court that on the morning of April 6, 2016, CS Matiang’i was supposed to depart to Kisumu through JKIA but the flight was delayed by 32 minutes due to Ms. Cherogony’s conduct.