Ex-Tatu City Boss Awarded Millions for Wrongful Dismissal

August 16, 2021

The Employment and Labour Relations Court has awarded a former Tatu City chief executive officer Sh27.5 million for wrongful dismissal.

Mr Lucas Akunga Omariba was sacked in February 2015 before he moved to court to contest his dismissal.

In his testimony, Omariba said that on the fateful day, he attended a board meeting and after returning to his office, he received an email informing him of the sack.

He said the board meeting did not discuss his sacking and it was never an agenda for the meeting.

Omariba further claimed that his dismissal was abrupt and no reason was given. He indicated that security personnel were also instructed not to allow him back to the office, denying him a chance to collect his personal belongings.

He argued that the law requires he be notified of the charges or claims and given a chance to defend himself.

But Tatu City defended the termination saying it waslawful by reason of his gross insubordination to the board, absenteeism and breach of confidentiality.

It further claimed that the former CEO took off with electronic information, correspondence and documents belonging to the company and refused to return them despite demand.

And upon being fired, Tatu City claimed Omariba contravened the confidentiality of his employment contract by sharing sensitive information about the company with third parties.

In his ruling, Justice Onesmus Makau said the summary dismissal of Lucas Akunga Omariba was unlawful because he was not given an opportunity to defend himself.

“I have held before that a disciplinary hearing is not an option before dismissal of an employee for a cause. Under Section 41 of the Employment Act, an employer is required, in mandatory terms, to give his employee an opportunity to defend himself, before terminating his employment contract,” he said.

Justice Makau awarded Sh27.5 compensation that includes 10 months’ salary for unfair termination without notice and accrued leave days.

The court also directed that part of the compensation be used to pay for two mobile phones that the company wanted to be returned.

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