Gor Mahia wins court appeal against ex-player

Clifton Miheso reacts after missing a goal in a match against City Stars at Utalii Sports Club on May 16, 2021. [Jonah Onyango, Standard]

The Employment and Labour Relations Court (ELRC) has quashed a Sh2.5 million award to former Gor Mahia player Clifton Miheso by the Sports Disputes Tribunal (SDT).

Justice Byram Ongaya, in his judgment, said the tribunal has no powers to entertain employment disputes between sport persons and clubs in the country.

He stated that the Sports Act is clear that the tribunal can only resolve a sports dispute only if the clubs and their employees mutually agree for it to hear and resolve the issue.

“The case before the tribunal was an allegation of a contract of employment between the petitioner and the interested party. As submitted by the petitioner, the constitutional jurisdiction under Article 162(2) (a) as read with the Employment and Labour Relations Court Act, the jurisdiction falls upon the court,” ruled Justice Ongaya.

The judge said even if Gor Mahia and Miheso agreed to appear before the tribunal, its decision would have still been a nullity.

The judgment is a win by the football club against the player.

“While the tribunal agreed to hear the dispute, there was no agreement shown that the parties agreed to refer the same to the tribunal. The court further finds that the parties would not agree to confer the tribunal with jurisdiction which Article 162(2) (a) has conferred to the court as per the Employment and Labour Relations Court Act. If parties had indeed entered such agreement, then such agreement would be null and void as being contrary to the Constitution, statute and public interest,” argued the judge.

At the heart of the case was an employment battle between Miheso and Gor Mahia. Miheso was employed by the club sometime in 2019. His salary was Sh150,000 gross, which was exclusive of other allowances.

However, a disagreement arose on the signing fee. Miheso complained that he was not paid his signing fee. After hearing rival submissions, SDT awarded Miheso Sh2.5 million.

Aggrieved, K’ogalo moved to the Labour court arguing that the tribunal had no powers to entertain Miheso’s case.

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