God at Work? Kenya’s Chief Atheist Sacked over Political Tweets

January 23, 2019

Atheists in Kenya Society(AIK) President Harrison Mumia has been fired by the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) over gross misconduct.

CBK, through a show cause letter, initially suspended Mr Mumia from his post in the Information Technology department on half pay for three months in February last year. This followed an earlier show cause letter in May 2017 from CBK on grounds of disobedience and insubordination and violating the bank’s code of conduct that requires its employees to remain neutral on political affairs.

In his response three days later, Mr Mumia pleaded for understanding on matters pertaining to performance. But on the issue of political neutrality, the controversial atheist stated: “I have not publicly expressed my support for any political party against CBK rules.”

Following a hearing by the bank’s disciplinary committee, CBK issued the AIK boss with a termination letter in June last year giving him 14 days to appeal.

In his appeal, Mumia insisted that his Twitter account was hacked but lacked evidence to support the claims.

“Why should I be harshly penalized for tweets that were not mine, that allegedly demonstrate my lack of political neutrality, at a time when our national leaders are building bridges politically? The decision by the bank to terminate my employment was too drastic, too extreme and too severe, with grave consequences to my life and those of my dependents,” Mr Mumia said in his appeal.

But CBK dismissed the appeal and held on to its decision to sack Mr Mumia in a letter dated January 11, 2019.

Some of the political tweets that Mr Mumia allegedly posted include: “I thought MP Alfred Keter was in Government. I thought yuko ndaani ndaani. Mbona anashikwa na his Government tena? As a Jubilee MP surely! Unless being in Government is a myth! To those who voted for Jubilee, Mko ndaani ya Government in what sense?”

Another tweet read: “So Joshua Kuttuny is unhappy that Alfred Keter amewekwa ndani? But when Miguna is illegally deported, Kuttuny feels nothing? When David Ndii is illegally arrested, Kuttuny feels nothing? Orengo once said a bud Government eats its own people. Jubilee will fall soon!”

On Tuesday, Harrison Mumia took to Twitter on Tuesday evening reiterating his innocence.

“I have SOLID EVIDENCE that my account was hacked. I presented my evidence before the Disciplinary Committee headed by CBK Deputy Governor, Sheila MBIJIWE. Still, I was fired. They never bothered to look at my evidence,” he tweeted.

Mr Mumia has also threatened to take legal action against CBK over his dismissal. He will be moving to court this week to demand damages amounting to Sh33 million.

“I have engaged a lawyer who will move to Court this week under a certificate of urgency, citing freedom of expression and unlawful dismissal. I will seek damages of Shs 33 Million based on wrongful dismissal. I will also petition Parliament to Censure the Governor of the Central Bank, Dr. Patrick Njoroge, the HR Director, Ms. Terry Ngaga for going against the spirit of the Building Bridges initiative,” he told the Nation.

The sack comes just a week after he shared a post on Facebook mocking God and those who prayed to Him during the Dusit D2 attack in Westlands.

It is for this reason that some believers on social media discussion forums believe the atheist’s sack is simply God at work.

Below are screengrabs of a show cause letter dated February 20, 2018, from CBK to Harrison Mumia.

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