Safaricom to Pay Former Employee for Unfair Sacking

May 4, 2022
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Safaricom headquarters, Safaricom House, Nairobi.

A Labour Court in Nairobi has ordered Safaricom to compensate a former senior employee it irregularly sacked in 2017.

Michael Karanja, who served as a senior detective at the telco, lost his job in November 2017 over alleged involvement in graft.

Safaricom alleged that Karanja assisted a third party in irregular M-Pesa tills from which he allegedly received funds contrary to the Safaricom Risk Management Code of Ethics.

The Telco also claimed that Karanja, who was the principal officer for fraud detection and analysis, was involved in various conflict of interest dealings involving Safaricom M-Pesa agents.

However, the Employment and Labour Relations Court said Safaricom failed to provide evidence on the reasons for dismissing Karanja.

Justice Jacob Gakeri found that the suspension letter issued to the employee was “exceedingly general” and that he was not issued with a notice to show cause.

“The Claimant never received a specific narrative on the allegations made against him. The results of the alleged investigation are also not on record nor is there evidence that a copy of the report was sent to the Claimant,” said the judge.

“Evidently, Safaricom may have had good reason to terminate or dismiss the Claimant but did not pursue the process to its logical conclusion,” the judge added.

Karanja had argued that he was not taken through any disciplinary hearing before dismissal. Safaricom did not participate in the case, hence the suit was undefended.

The court awarded Karanja Sh2.3 million in compensation as follows; Sh1.7 million (five months’ gross salary), Sh347,000 (one month’s salary in lieu of notice), and salary for 27 days in June 2017.

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