Two former Safaricom employees seek Sh9.9m compensation

Safaricom headquarters on Nairobi's Waiyaki Way.

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

Two former employees of a telecommunications, who retired after developing health challenges, are seeking over Sh9.9m in terminal dues.

Besides the exit awards, Mr Jonathan Njuguna Kimani and Ms Nancy Vuzigwa Avire, who were working as customer care representatives, are also asking the Labour court to compel Safaricom to settle their loans with a local bank running into millions.

Mr Kimani and Ms Avire say they cannot repay the Sh2,622,366 and Sh1,933,340 loans respectively as they have lost their monthly incomes.

“As an employer Safaricom had a duty to protect the claimants from such liability but to date it has failed to formally declare the reason for separation despite several request from Kimani and Avire,” lawyer Titus Koceyo for the two said.

As a result, the lawyer said, “the two have left employment with orthopaedic conditions that must be treated for the rest of their lives from their own pockets and loans which they are unable to pay.”

Although the two were advised by their employer to agree to be separated in a manner suggestive to a voluntary exit, Mr Koceyo said in court, “the truth is they were retired on medical grounds.”

Justice Maureen Onyango has given the company 21 days to respond to the case failure to which a judgement will be rendered.

She directed Mr Koceyo to serve the court papers to Safaricom.

Health experts recommended the two be given light duties and orthopaedic chairs with warm packs, advise the lawyer claims was not heeded by the employer.

Mr Kimani and Ms Avire say, instead, the company’s health advisor placed them under its Chronic Disease Management Programme (CDM) which allowed them more comprehensive insurance cover.

The two cannot secure employment elsewhere due to their condition and they are urging the court to compensate them for mistreatment and discrimination.

The lawyer asked the court to enter a judgement in favour of the two former customer care representatives for loss of employment on unlawful termination and unfair labour practice as they were asked to leave due to their health conditions.

Mr Kimani who had worked for 15 years is seeking Sh1,890,516 in compensation while Ms Avire is asking the court to award her Sh1,481,952 as her exit sum for her 12 year of service.

Both are also urging the court to award them Sh1 million each in damages for discrimination.

They are also asking the court to order the company to pay them 20 per cent interest for the awards.

rmunguti@ke.nationmedia.com